Why is Favre putting himself through saga?

Deeper reason for quarterback's itch to play remains a mystery, says Packer Report's Matt Tevsh.

Amidst the "He said, I said," game that has escalated this week between "retired" quarterback Brett Favre and the Packers, there remains an empty feeling, an incomplete explanation.

Favre has been honest, but contradictory, questioning Packers' management in a roundabout way. By now, anyone who really cares has seen his three-part interview with Fox's Greta Van Susteren which aired Monday through Wednesday.

The Packers have chosen their words carefully and wisely, obviously stuck in the middle of a difficult situation. By now, anyone who cares has read or heard general manager Ted Thompson's statements.

Still, the question that irks this scribe through all of this is: Why is Favre doing this? Why, after holding a tearful retirement press conference, and then flip-flopping on his decision who knows how many times this off-season, has he chosen this time to come back?"

The most obvious and implied answers would be that, at 38 years old, Favre knows he can still play at a high level, and he loves the game. Few would dispute those reasons. But Favre indicated and said as much back in early March when he faced the masses, and still said it was over.

Favre's love for the game will always be there. There is nothing that can provide closure by playing another year for the Buccaneers, or Ravens, or anyone else for that matter.

There has to be a deeper reason. There has to be a side of Favre not understandable to the fans, media, Packers management, and even some of his teammates.

The only logically explanation that Favre has given over the past couple of days is that he is "guilty of retiring early." It is easy to see why.

In 2007, Favre had a season for the ages. Not only did he have the Packers on the doorstep of a Super Bowl appearance, but he did it by launching an unprecedented aerial assault. He had as much command of the Packers offense as head coach Mike McCarthy did and that resulted in 4,155 passing yards, a 66.5 percent completion rate, and 28 touchdown passes. In the process, he broke every major career passing mark in NFL history.

Favre has always said he could never envision himself playing for any other team than the Packers, but now he has changed that thinking. Though he would never say it publicly because of the physical and mental demands of his position, maybe he wants to give a shot to playing well into his 40s. He already played better this past season than any other quarterback his age ever has, and he arguably could for several more years.

Favre could never set his heights that high now, with the Packers, in light of recent events, and with the roster that Thompson has built. Aaron Rodgers' time is now, another quarterback, Brian Brohm, was drafted in the second round this year, and at least the next five years of the team's fortunes are at stake. That leaves Favre with no other option but to seek somewhere else to play.

Favre has also said that he never plays for records. True as that might be, every legend has a drive that works a little differently than all the others. They have a clock that ticks to its own rhythm. Records are meaningful, thus they are kept, and to some extent, glorified.

Without doing the unthinkable, and setting a seemingly impossible standard, legends fail to be legends. Favre is no different. He cares about his numbers even if he says otherwise. With several more years of play, and good health, Favre would make all of his marks unreachable. In the process, he could leave a legacy, not only as the greatest quarterback, but the greatest football player ever.

It would painful to think Favre is going through all of this just to play one more year with another team. There is little to gain from that even for someone who loves the game as much as Favre. Considering the Packers say they will not release him, a sound decision, the chances of him finding success elsewhere are slim.

Therefore, there has to be a deeper reason – one that the masses will never know.

Packer Report Top Stories