The Packers would like to retire Favre's No. 4 this season, preferably within one of the first four regular season home games, but which one is up to Favre ... if he wants to go through with it this season.
At first glance, you might think, why the rush? What's the hurry in retiring the number? The chances of Favre suddenly passing away like Reggie White within a few years seem slim to none. Why not wait a year or so? On the other hand, why wait?
At least one current Packer probably would benefit with a Favre jersey ceremony early in the season. That's none other than Aaron Rodgers.
Favre did the team's new starting quarterback no favor by recently mentioning that he might consider returning to play for the Packers if Rodgers was injured this season. If that truly is the case, the pressure on Rodgers to perform at a high level as well as steer clear of injuries would be an extra burden on his shoulders. Plus, anytime Rodgers throws an interception, or the Packers lose, fans would be sounding off in all sorts of media for Favre to return. Great scenario for a first-year starter to lead a team that is expected to make the playoffs, eh?
By retiring Favre's number early in the season, the Packers and Rodgers can slam the door on any talk of a Favre comeback, which will take a monkey or two off Rodgers' back. He already has enough on his plate following a legend, so why would the Packers want to put that much more pressure on him by leaving the door cracked open for a possible-but-not-likely Favre return?
Also, any game that Favre selects to retire his number will not be a distraction to Rodgers. In fact, with the spotlight on Favre for that week and game, Rodgers should be able to fly under the radar, relax and be prepared to help the Packers win.
Packers President Mark Murphy said today that the team would like to have the Favre ceremony early in the season in order to get the best possible weather. That's all nice, but from this scribe's point of view, it is to relieve a little pressure off their quarterback of the future. Give the Packers a thumbs up for that move.
Murphy said the Packers will present the options to Favre and ask for his input before a decision is made. If Favre truly plans to remain retired, he will agree to one of those first home games. If not, Rodgers may get a sore back from the monkeys and neck from constantly looking over his shoulder.