I felt that even though Favre said he was retiring from football, that he eventually would return, either with the Packers or a different team. However, after sitting through Favre's tearful announcement of his retirement today at Lambeau Field, I am more and more convinced that he will never return to play football. Sure, there's a small percentage that he could be lured back, but it doesn't seem like it at this point.
Favre said he is burned out mentally from the game. About 20 seconds into the press conference when he broke down emotionally, he certainly meant it. He said he is drained from having to live up to his own high standards, and that's very understandable. So, he's giving it up after 17 NFL seasons, including 16 with the Packers.
A great decision by the best quarterback ever in the minds of many, including this scribe. He's leaving the game at the perfect time.
"I've given everything I possibly can give to this organization, to the game of football, and I don't think I've got anything left to give, and that's it," Favre said. "I know I can play, but I don't think I want to. And that's really what it comes down to."
Favre doesn't need to return to football nor should he. He has accomplished everything there is to accomplish in the league. He has won a Super Bowl and owns nearly every major NFL passing record along the way. His starting streak of 275 straight games is simply amazing and the underlying reason why he is better than any other quarterback - past or present.
To return to the game wouldn't make sense for Favre. Sure, the urge to play will be gnawing away at him when training camps open in late July and the regular season closes in. But Favre should resist that urge to preserve his legacy and not tarnish his image.
Favre is a Packer for life. To see him in another uniform wouldn't be a total surprise, but what would it accomplish? Favre doesn't need to play again.
Favre is a legend who walked away from the game on his own terms. Few NFL greats, like Barry Sanders and Jim Brown, have taken advantage of that opportunity. Knowing that Favre has always been true to his word, when he says he is retired, believe it.
"It's a tough business and last year and the year before I questioned whether or not I should come back because I didn't play at a high enough level," Favre said. "Other people questioned that. I really didn't question my commitment. I just wondered, 'Could I not play anymore?'
I know I can play. But this year, and this is not the first year but it really to me and Deanna was more noticeable, the stress part of it. It's demanding. It always has been, but I think as I've gotten older I'm much more aware of that. I'm much more aware of how hard it is to win in this league and to play at a high level. I'm not up to the challenge anymore. I can play, but I'm not up to the challenge. You can't just show up and play for three hours on Sunday. If you could, there'd be a lot more people doing it and they'd be doing it for a lot longer. I have way too much pride, I expect a lot out of myself, and if I cannot do those things 100 percent, then I can't play."
Favre is moving on, but he will never be forgotten.
Todd Korth is managing editor of PackerReport.com and Packer Report magazine. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.