Can the Packers still retire Favre's number if he is still an active player?
Can the Packers make room for Favre, even though they've groomed Aaron Rodgers the last three years, especially this offseason?
Sure they can, to all of the above questions. And, yes, the Packers can also trade Favre to a different team. As difficult as that may be for Packers fans who love Favre to accept, it could and should be a reality, if Favre's reported "itch to play again" turns into an all-out scratch.
If that does happen, and he reportedly has told some that there's a 50-50 chance it will happen, the Packers would be wise to get what they can for the future Hall of Famer. A draft pick for next season, whatever. Favre has been the best thing that has happened to the Packers franchise since Vince Lombardi, but it's time to move on. Lombardi did and now Favre should as well so the team can continue to improve behind Rodgers. He is more than ready to start and lead the team. To re-arrange everything now doesn't make sense.
Remember, that Rodgers' contract with the Packers is up after next season. To have him sit another year would be a waste.
For those who feel that the Packers are better with Favre than Rodgers, don't bet the house on it at this point. So much of an NFL team's success can be attributed to its chemistry, which is often developed between the draft and the start of the regular season. Many members of the team work out together, they practice together and hang out together. More now in the offseason than ever before with workout programs that begin in March, minicamps and Organized Team Activities practices. By the time training camp arrives, the team is pretty well established with its chemistry and character. It tunes up with pads, then embarks on a marathon season. Through a long season, chemistry is often the backbone of a team. Teams with good chemistry succeed and teams without it don't.
Why undermine Aaron Rodgers and everything that he's done this offseason? Why take away the relationships that he has worked at developing with other teammates? Why spoil the chemistry?
Favre was nowhere to be found around Green Bay this offseason – retired, right? – and the Packers proceeded to develop the team around Rodgers. Messing with that now would do more harm than good.
If Favre doesn't announce his retirement in March, trading him away isn't even an issue. Now it is. It's time for the Packers to make a move, that is, if Favre wants to play again. No doubt it would be strange to see him in another uniform, but he always will be a Packer, just like Joe Montana is a 49er, Joe Namath a Jet and Johnny Unitas a Colt. At some point, those quarterbacks moved on when their organizations made a decision go with other quarterbacks. If the Packers are faced with that decision, they would be wise to proceed with Rodgers.
Favre has been the most important figure in Green Bay since Lombardi but even Lombardi moved on to a different team. Life would go on and both Favre and the Packers will be happy.