Retired Favre causes headache

Brett Favre says he has no intention of playing again, yet he asked for and was granted his release on Tuesday night. What else could this mean other than Favre wanting to play for Minnesota out of his hatred for Ted Thompson? Oy ... give publisher Bill Huber a case of aspirin.

Anyone got an aspirin?

Brett Favre, the charter member of the Ted Thompson Is a Big Meanie Fan Club, is a free man.

Seriously, does anyone have an aspirin? Like, a handful of them?

On Tuesday night, per Sir Favre's prodding, the New York Jets released the 39-year-old, sore-shouldered quarterback.

Thankfully, Favre said he has no plans to come out of retirement. Of course, he prefaced that statement with the words, "At this time."

Now, one might ask why a player who says he has "no intention" of playing football again would care whether he's under contract. You know, unless there was a clause in his Jets contract that barred him from operating his lawn mower at speeds in excess of 5 mph.

But Favre, for some mysterious reason, just couldn't stand to be shackled by the restraints of a contract with the Jets. Even though he was retired. So, the Jets — who just moved up in the draft to grab Mark Sanchez with the fifth overall pick a few days earlier — bid a no-tear good-bye to the quarterback whose age and lack of offseason preparation played a role in him frittering away their playoff hopes in December.

By my estimation, there are three possibilities to consider.

One: Favre hadn't been in the news for two-and-a-half months. That was far, far too long.

Two: Now that he's a free agent, he can sign a one-day contract with the Packers to begin the healing process.

Three: He still wants to "stick it" to Thompson. And — hey look! — the Vikings are going to try to win a Super Bowl with Sage Rosenfels and Tarvaris Jackson at quarterback.

While it's impossible to dismiss Option 1, and Option 2 would be a warm and fuzzy story, let's focus on the juicy Vikings angle.

After retiring for the second time on Feb. 11, Favre gave a rambling interview to ESPN's Ed Werder. In it, he admitted playing last season partly out of spite because he was "pissed" at the Packers. Favre holds a deep, deep grudge toward Thompson, starting with Thompson's unwillingness to cave in to Favre's demands last July and continuing with the GM's decision to not simply release Favre at that time so he could join his good friend Darrell Bevell, the Vikings' offensive coordinator and Favre's former quarterbacks coach in Green Bay. It's hard to imagine that scorn has cooled in the two-plus months since he retired.

Shortly after the Werder interview, Favre told Sports Illustrated's Peter King that he would "never" ask for his release from the Jets.

Well, "never" lasted about 10 weeks. Less than, actually. According to Jets general manager Mike Tannenbaum, Favre "requested his release some time ago."

Did the Jets acquiesce because they know Favre wants to play and there's no way they can fit him under the salary cap after an offseason spending spree and a huge contract looming for Sanchez?

And does that mean Favre will be offering a bowl of gumbo to John David Booty to get the Vikings' third-string quarterback to relinquish his purple No. 4 jersey?

"This storyline is getting as old and tired as the arm of Norm Van Brocklin, the first Vikings quarterback," Vikings Update's Tim Yotter told Packer Report. "Last year, it was intriguing ... for a couple weeks. This year, I tend to believe it's old speculation that will never bear fruit again.

"Some seem to think it's just a matter of if Favre wants to return to play with the Vikings, but there are other factors at play. First, does he need surgery to play again? If so, wipe him off the radar for good for the love of moving forward. Secondly, do the Vikings even want to place him in their offense at this point? I think they'd rather move forward with their competition between Tarvaris Jackson and Sage Rosenfels and hope one of them can give them a few years of production, not a few months."

Wise to Favre's ways, I'm not so quick to dismiss the possibility. When you combine the retired player's inexplicable desire to be released with Favre's hatred for Thompson, what other conclusion are you supposed to draw?

In case you had forgotten, it's Green Bay at Minnesota on ESPN's "Monday Night Football" on Oct. 5.

Or, maybe Favre just misses the attention. Either way, about that aspirin ...


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Bill Huber is publisher of Packer Report magazine and PackerReport.com and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at packwriter2002@yahoo.com, or leave him a question in Packer Report's subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Bill also is giving Facebook and Twitter a try. Find him on Twitter at twitter.com/packerreport and Facebook.


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