The summer plot of the melodrama starring the Packers and quarterback Brett Favre thickened as the team moved into Week 2 of training camp.
Favre was reinstated from the reserve-retired list by NFL commissioner Roger Goodell on Sunday flew from his Mississippi home to Green Bay later in the day to report to camp.
The Packers' company line for the past month, after Favre declared that he was interested in playing again after he had retired in March, has been that their iconic player of the last 16 years would be welcomed back but not as the starter anymore.
After a statement released by the Packers said Favre would be involved in an open quarterback competition with Aaron Rodgers, a report in the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel said the Packers contacted the Vikings on Friday about trading Favre, according to an anonymous source credited as "an executive in personnel for a National Football League team with close ties to clubs in the NFC North Division.
"They've kind of said through one of their (front-office) guys that if Favre did report they would potentially trade him within the division," the JS credited the source as saying late Sunday afternoon. No compensation was discussed, the report said, but the source indicated Favre might only fetch a fourth- fifth-round pick.
The Packers moved on with Aaron Rodgers, its 2005 first-round draft pick, in the starting role following Favre's retirement announcement.
By reinstating Favre, Goodell has triggered what could become a madcap week of camp for the Packers as they prepare to get ready for their first preseason game, Aug. 11 against Cincinnati in a nationally televised game at Lambeau Field.
"We will welcome him back and turn this situation to our advantage," team president and CEO Mark Murphy said in a statement Sunday. "Frankly, Brett's change of mind put us in a very difficult spot. We now will revise many actions and assumptions about our long-term future, all predicated on Brett's decision last March to retire. As a result of his decision, we invested considerably in a new and different future without Brett and we were obviously moving in that direction. That's why this wasn't easy. Having crossed the Rubicon once when Brett decided to retire, it's very difficult to reorient our plans and cross it again in the opposite direction - but we'll put this to our advantage.
So who will be the starting quarterback?
"Coach (Mike) McCarthy will talk to the team and the quarterbacks about the plan moving forward, and after he has done that we will share it publicly," Murphy's statement read.
Favre's apparent willingness to come to Green Bay seemingly put the kibosh on his accepting a 10-year marketing and licensing contract from the Packers, something the Journal-Sentinel's source said they were convinced he would accept. They made the offer after he retired to preserve his legacy with the franchise and presumably to keep him from playing again with another team.
The deal, which apparently was at the heart of a lengthy meeting Murphy had with Favre and agent Bus Cook in Mississippi on July 30, reportedly is worth as much as $25 million - equivalent to what Favre would earn the next two years on his existing player contract with the Packers.
Favre's arrival in Green Bay on Aug. 3 coincided with the Packers' holding their intrasquad scrimmage at sold-out Lambeau Field at night, and his wife was shown in a suite at the stadium.
The team doesn't practice again until Tuesday afternoon, at which time Favre could be on the field and at the center of a media and spectator circus if he isn't traded before then.
Before Favre will be allowed on the field - provided the Packers don't trade or release him before then - he has to pass a physical and a running test required of all players at the start of training camp.
Goodell held off on reinstating Favre after the league's only three-time MVP submitted the paperwork to the league office July 29. Goodell wanted to give Favre's camp and the Packers time to bring an amenable resolution to what has become an ugly mess, replete with accusations made by Favre regarding the job integrity of general manager Ted Thompson.
Goodell's patience, though, had worn thin by the weekend, when he was in Canton, Ohio, for the Pro Football Hall of Fame festivities.
"I think we have to force it," Goodell told the NFL Network on Aug. 2. "I think it's come to the point where there needs to be some decisions made on the behalf of the Packers, on behalf of Brett and on behalf of all the fans."
Thompson has entertained trade offers for Favre outside of the NFC North, with Tampa Bay and the New York Jets having shown some interest, but Favre apparently isn't in favor of going to one of those teams.
Favre initially wanted to report to Green Bay in time for the start of training camp but was talked out of it after having a pair of lengthy telephone conversations with Thompson on July 26. Thompson said he made it clear to Favre that he wouldn't be allowed to compete for the starting job if he were to rejoin the team, which has him under contract through 2010.
Rodgers was taking the high road about what Favre's possible return to the team would mean for what's going on at quarterback.
"Before all of this stuff went down, I was the starting quarterback, and that was my focus. It's the way I viewed this offseason," Rodgers said Aug. 1. "As of this moment, again, I'm the starting quarterback still, and I continue to be focused on what I've got to do to get better every day in practice and lead this team the best way I can."
Report: Packers Talk Trade with Vikings
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