Favre files for reinstatement

McCarthy and the players sound off on the iconic quarterback's decision to return to the NFL, with the next step in the drama coming with Favre's likely arrival in camp on Wednesday or Thursday.

"We want Brett!" Packers cornerback Charles Woodson yelled as he walked off the practice field on Tuesday afternoon.

Woodson said he was having good-natured fun with reporters and hadn't heard the news until after reaching the locker room. Regardless, if you want Brett, it looks like you've got him.

Almost four weeks after his intention to return to professional football took the sporting world by storm, retired quarterback Brett Favre finally faxed his reinstatement papers in to the NFL.

The Packers confirmed the news after Tuesday's lone practice.

"That's obviously the first step in Brett coming back. We'll deal with that when he's reinstated and we'll definitely have a plan in order," said coach Mike McCarthy, who said he learned of the news as he approached the podium for his post-practice news conference.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has not signed off on Favre's request — and since the league received the request at the close of the business day, nothing will be done until Wednesday — but that is seen as a formality.

Once the NFL gives its stamp of approval, the Packers will have 24 hours to add Favre to the roster, trade him or give him his release. Since Packers general manager Ted Thompson has said he will not release Favre, it's almost a certainty Favre will show up at practice — perhaps as soon as Wednesday, though it could be Thursday if the Packers take most or all of the 24 hours.

"We'll address everything as far as the details of how Brett Favre fits into our future plans when he arrives here," McCarthy said.

Of course, the player most impacted by Favre's decision is Aaron Rodgers, who has taken all of the snaps with the No. 1 offense since Favre announced his retirement in March.

"They said I'm the starter, so until that changes, that's going to be my focus," Rodgers said while briefly made available to reporters.

McCarthy wouldn't speculate on the next move. A trade remains the most likely outcome, and with Favre finally filing his reinstatement papers, perhaps those trade talks will heat up. So far, however, talks have gone nowhere because the Packers reportedly aren't receiving offers to their liking.

As was the case with McCarthy and Thompson on Monday, McCarthy left the door open a sliver that Favre could return and stay in Green Bay.

"Brett Favre is still a very good football player. He's an asset to our football team," McCarthy said.

The news was met with a smile from his favorite receiver and friend, Donald Driver.

"I think we're all smiling about it," Driver said. "He's back. That's all that matters to me, and I think everybody else in this locker room."

Woodson and linebacker A.J. Hawk were among the players happy the drama may be reaching a resolution.

"It's good that they're taking steps to do something to reach some sort of decision," Hawk said. "We'll see now where it goes."

Where it goes now is a topic McCarthy wouldn't touch. He met with reporters for almost 8 minutes but wouldn't divulge what he and Thompson have in mind for Favre, other than to say he must pass a physical, just like the rest of the players.

"We have discussed potential plans, but I'm not going to talk about them today until I've had an opportunity to talk about it with Brett Favre," McCarthy said.

McCarthy dismissed the notion Favre's appearance could disrupt the strong locker room he and Thompson have built, and said Favre would be "welcomed back into our locker room."

Still, McCarthy steadfastly repeated that Rodgers is his starting quarterback.

"It really goes back to what we've been saying all along as an organization," McCarthy said. "This is about the direction that we've gone with our football team. What's happened here the last week, 10 days ... probably is not going to change our direction. This is all part of a football team, an organization, setting a direction, and we're moving forward. If Brett Favre reinstates, then he's going to be part of the plans for the future of this football team. Simple as that."

Next comes the most important moment of the drama: What will the Packers do now that Favre is (almost) officially a full-fledged professional football player again?

"That's why I'm a defensive guy and not a front-office guy," Hawk said.

Only one thing is for sure, as Woodson succinctly pointed out.

"It's going to get even crazier if he shows up."

Bill Huber writes for Packer Report. E-mail him at packwriter2002@yahoo.com

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