Is Favre comeback dead or just delayed?

Brett Favre is apparently retired, but everything surrounding that assertion needs to be qualified. Is his potential comeback to the NFL dead or simply delayed until after OTAs and minicamps are over?

The whirlwind courtship between Brett Favre and the Vikings was never as secretive as the Vikings may have wanted, but, just when you think it's over, consider this – what Favre says in May could be much different than what he says in June.

Flash back one year. Favre was supposed to be retired then too, but didn't want to take part in the team's offseason workout program, organized team activities (OTAs) or minicamps. The Packers moved on and, during that process, Aaron Rodgers stepped forward as the Packers starting QB. But then a funny thing happened. The day after the final Packers minicamp, Favre contacted head coach Mike McCarthy and told him he had a change of heart and wanted to come back.

What followed was an acrimonious exchange between the Packers front office and Favre. He was offered a $20 million personal services contract to not return to the NFL. Favre rejected the offer and forced the Packers' hand, showing up for the start of training camp only to quickly be peddled to the Jets.

Flash forward one year. When the news of the mutual interest between Favre and the Vikings was leaked, one thing that was consistent through many of the reports was that Brad Childress wanted Favre to take part in the team's offseason training activities and the minicamps. That is something Favre clearly wanted no part of in the recent past and he wasn't shy about making those feelings known.

Yesterday's announcement that he will remain retired doesn't mean it will be permanent. This has been an offseason game Favre has played for the last several years. This time, however, it hasn't started as planned. ESPN offered wall-to-wall coverage that was only interrupted by the news that Manny Ramirez was taking a female fertility drug – a story you can't make up about Manny being Mary. Childress had his car staked out at Winter Park and multiple reporters were down in Hattiesburg, Miss. like TMZ stalkarazzi skulking around the local airport. If there had been a wish of quietly traveling the country to make in-roads with Favre, Childress learned that meeting with Percy Harvin could be done on the relative down-low. A Hall of Fame QB like Favre would be a different story.

Those who made bets that Favre wouldn't come to the Vikings may as well try to cash in those wagers now. However, those who bet that Favre would be in purple at the start of the 2009 season may not want to pay off just yet. Favre doesn't seem to ever want to take part in minicamps. By making his announcement that he is still retired, he can avoid them. He isn't under contract and can't be forced to go to them. However, when they wrap up in June, don't be shocked to see the phone light up in the other direction – with Favre calling the Vikings to see if their interest still persists.

For those who stumbled over themselves with glee when the news first broke that Favre may be Minnesota bound shouldn't necessarily be wallowing in grief with this latest announcement. The deal may not be dead, it may just be postponed. Nothing is set in stone – in the NFL and with Favre especially. By making his announcement, Favre has successfully avoided minicamp. Now we have to wait a month until after the minicamp season to see if he sticks to his word. Given his history of changing his mind, this story may not be as dead as people are saying. It may simply be delayed.

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