Murphy returns, with Favre likely to follow

It appears the stage has been set for Brett Favre to play his trump card and arrive at training camp

The most intense and physical practice of training camp got lost in the shuffle in the latest two-step in the song-and-dance between the Green Bay Packers and Brett Favre.

Packers President Mark Murphy flew to Hattiesburg, Miss., to meet with Favre and his agent, Bus Cook, on Wednesday in a Hail Mary attempt at keeping Favre away from training camp. At this stage, though, Favre has all the leverage, and it appears he's ready to wield it by coming to Green Bay.

Assuming Commissioner Roger Goodell OKs Favre's reinstatement papers on Thursday — the Packers do not practice on Thursday — there's a good chance Favre will be at 1265 Lombardi Ave. on Friday.

"We're going to do whatever Brett wants to do," Cook told the Hattiesburg American. "And right now, his intention is to go back to Green Bay and play football."

With the Packers reportedly finding few takers on the trade market and desperate to avoid the circus of Favre on the same football field as his successor, Aaron Rodgers, the story took a shocking turn. According to Milwaukee TV station WTMJ, the Packers offered Favre $20 million over 10 years to stay retired. The Green Bay Press-Gazette also reported the Packers made a monetary offer for Favre to stay retired.

Packers coach Mike McCarthy got an update about the situation before meeting with reporters after Wednesday night's practice.

"They just told me about the story that's out there," he said. "Sorry, I don't have anything for you. Wish I did."

The Packers issued a statement on Murphy's behalf about a half-hour after practice ended.

"I was in Hattiesburg today and had a nice visit with Brett Favre. We discussed a number of topics not related to football, including Brett's long-term relationship with the Packers. I consider our conversation to be confidential and am going to be respectful of Brett and his family and keep the details private. (General manager) Ted (Thompson) and Mike are going to continue to work on the football side of this issue. They have my full support."

After practice, McCarthy sounded like he was growing tired of answering questions day after day about Favre. Barring a last-moment trade, however, McCarthy not only will face questions about Favre, but he will be coaching him, too.

"It's time for me to coach the football team. I can't concern myself with the day-to-day, blow-by-blow things that go on. If he comes in here, he'll be one of 80 and I'll coach him accordingly."

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


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