Favre Watch continues

More than a month has passed since the Green Bay Packers played their last game. While most everyone feels that Brett Favre will return to play football next season, PackerReport.com's Matt Tevsh presents other issues that might be delaying Favre from making a decision.

Oh to be in the mind of Brett Favre right now.

"To retire or keep playing?" it asks.

Now that is a right-brain, left-brain battle of heavyweight proportions.

Thanks to at least four straight offseasons of serious mulling, Favre's football future has taken on a complicated life of its own.

There was the longest wait, nearly four months, before he made his decision to return two years ago, and then last year he made a quicker decision, announcing just over a month after the Packers' last game that he was coming back.

This year, he has already taken longer than last year, which is surprising since he said he would make a decision sooner. As of today, Packers' fans still wait for the word, 39 days after the season concluded.

Favre, 38, has always said that he will continue his NFL career as long as he can play at a high level and as long as the Packers want him. Clearly, both of those criteria have been met. Minus a couple of cold-weather games where he played poorly, Favre had arguably the best season of his career, both statistically and as a leader. And recently, the Packers have indicated publicly that they want Favre back.

So just what is the hold up?

The sting of a loss in the NFC Championship could still bite the ultra-competitive Favre, but he has gotten over tough losses in the past and should be more encouraged by the team's prospects after a 14-4 season. With his experience, he has to be over the Giants game by now.

There also could be personal reasons, or a discovery of a life-after-football occupation that the public is unaware of that might be playing a role.

Or maybe he is just wondering if he wants to again try to climb the enormous mountain that the Super Bowl sits atop.

Only Favre knows what he is really thinking and feeling, but because he said he would make his decision quicker this year, retirement might be as much in his mind as ever.

If he was ever close to calling it quits in the past it was after the 2005 season when the Packers finished 4-12. Favre seemed to be out of sorts that year, throwing a career-high 29 interceptions, as the team suffered its worst record since 1991. Head coach Mike Sherman was fired, so Favre had to consider a new coaching staff and the real possibility of another long season.

On top of that, the Packers were re-tooling their roster with second-year GM Ted Thompson and they had a first-round pick, Aaron Rodgers, ready to take over the quarterback position in his second NFL season.

Even though Favre left everyone in doubt up until the draft that off-season, he eventually decided to give it another shot. That is when he clarified his reasons for returning, namely those mentioned earlier in this article about still being able to play effectively.

Last off-season, even after Favre broke down during a post-game interview on national television after the regular season finale, he seemed rejuvenated and excited about his team's direction. It paid off with a magical, almost storybook season.

Favre's health, not counting some chronic injuries, seemed okay at the end of this year, and though he might be a little slower in the pocket, he has developed an offensive strategy with head coach Mike McCarthy that makes him more dangerous than ever. If ever there was an offseason that should leave him with little doubt, it is this one.

That is what makes the delay this time such a mystery.

Matt Tevsh is a regular contributor to PackerReport.com and Packer Report magazine. E-mail him at matttevsh@hotmail.com.

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