Stance on Favre earns applause

President Murphy tells shareholders that the Packers acted in the team's best long-term interests, then tells reporters that the No. 4 will be retired.

Judging by the reaction from the 7,500 or so people in attendance at Thursday morning's gloomy shareholders meeting at Lambeau Field, the Brett Favre Hangover is history.

Early in his remarks to the shareholders, Packers President Mark Murphy spoke of the "challenge" Favre's unretirement and eventual trade brought upon the franchise. While Murphy said the team tried to be fair to the iconic three-time league MVP, he added that "we also felt we had to act in the best long term interests, and I think we did that."

That statement was greeted with applause by those in attendance.

Moments later, Murphy added: "The one thing we found out is we have a pretty good quarterback in Aaron Rodgers. The reality of the NFL is, unless you have good play at the quarterback position, you're going to struggle. I think we are set for the next decade with Aaron Rodgers."

That statement was greeted with even stronger applause.

Later, while meeting with reporters in the Lambeau Field media auditorium, Murphy — who has a few photos of Favre in his office — reiterated that Favre's No. 4 will join the team's five other retired numbers. At some point.

"We've made that commitment," he said. "He deserves it for what he did on the field and what he's meant for the organization. I can't answer when that time will be, other than to say that we'll make sure it's the appropriate time for both sides. It's pretty significant. You look up and the players that have had their numbers retired, it's pretty rarified air. This should be something special to the organization."

Murphy said the team had no reaction to Favre's decision to stay retired rather than sign with the Minnesota Vikings, though he acknowledged that the whole saga was a distraction that "lingered" during a 6-10 season. He called April's draft, in which the Packers had two first-round picks, a turning point after a Favre-focused eight months.

"I think we've said that if he wanted to come back and play — not many people at the age of 40 have even the ability to think about playing football. No, it doesn't really affect us."

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Bill Huber is publisher of Packer Report magazine and and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at, or leave him a question in Packer Report's subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at and Facebook under Bill Huber.

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