"I've had a great career in Green Bay. It goes without saying," Favre said. "The things that happened there this offseason, the last few days, in my opinion are over and done with. I wish them well. I'll use their term: we're moving forward, and I hope that I play at the level that I've always played at. There's no guarantees, there have never been any guarantees from me. The game of football is just that, the game of football, and anything can happen, but I hope to bring the leadership and durability."
Favre said that the Jets have been trying to lure him to New York over the past month, but that he was reluctant to speak with Tannebaum because Favre knew he "would be coninced once I talked to him."
Favre said that he is eager to start playing football again, almost five months to the day that he retired. However, he admitted that he is "a little out of shape compared to all the other guys" and said he knows no one on the team other than former Packers tight end Bubba Franks, who signed with the Jets this offseason. Franks was selected in the first round of the NFL draft by Green Bay in 2000.
Favre didn't talk about an abdominal injury that was discovered upon his physical in Green Bay on Monday by Packers team doctors. Favre is expected to undergo a physical and conditioning test on Friday with the Jets.
"I'm here for one reason. Not to do commercials, Broadway all those things," Favre said after joining New York for its exhibition game tonight in Cleveland. "I'm here to help the Jets win."
The Packers received a conditional fourth-round draft pick for Favre in the trade with the Jets that was announced late Wednesday evening. Favre said he was more focused on playing with a team within the NFC North Division as part of a "vindictive nature," but Packers weren't about to send him to the Minnesota Vikings or Chicago Bears. In fact, a clause in the deal with the Jets states that Green Bay will receive three first-round draft picks if New York turns around and deals him to a team within the NFC North Division.
"All I can say is I've always wanted to be a Packer, I think I always will be a Packer," Favre said. "Sixteen years is hard to forget for everyone and I'd like to think those 16 years people will say, 'Best 16 years I've ever watched.' It was a lot of fun for me. I think it was made clear this offseason that they were moving forward. Some things happened in between that. That's OK. And it's time for me to move forward.
"I had forgotten that I had been traded 17 or 18 years ago and what that process was like. It's a little bit different scenario now. But I'm really excited. This is refreshing, not that I needed that. I think the fans will continue to be Brett Favre fans. That may be some that say no. And for those people, maybe they were not diehard Brett Favre fans to begin with. Packer fans are Packer fans. There's a 40,000 or more waiting list for a reason and that will continue. It's a great tradition. I'm thankful that I was a part of it. I'm not a traitor. Never will be. It's business, that's the way it works. I gave everything I could possibly give while I was there and I don't think people would question that. And I hope that the Jets fans see the same thing. And so I hope I continue to have fans all over. That's what we play for."
Chad Pennington, who was in a training camp battle for the starting job with Kellen Clemens, was released Thursday afternoon. Dumping Pennington and his salary helped clear room under the salary cap for Favre, who is scheduled to earn $13 million this season. The Jets' top objective this offseason was to improve the quarterback position and they feel that they've accomplished that by trading for Favre.
"We wish him the best," Packers coach Mike McCarthy said. "There's no ill feelings. He has a positive reputation within this organization."