After months of speculation, quarterback Brett Favre could be just hours away from officially becoming a Minnesota Viking.
Television station WISN in Mississippi reported that Favre boarded a plane in Hattiesburg, Miss., his hometown, that was bound for St. Paul. According to reports, it was owner Zygi Wilf's plane. Wilf's plane is blocked from Internet tracking software.
The Vikings have been interested in Favre ever since he received his release from the New York Jets in the week following the NFL Draft in late April.
Favre had surgery to repair to a torn biceps tendon at the end of May and said in June, "We know the surgery itself was successful. It cleared up what was bothering me, but maybe I throw differently. Maybe my mechanics have changed some, because that's what happened to me late in the year. My mechanics had changed some. My accuracy was affected."
At the time, Vikings coach Brad Childress said, "I just know this: He won't play unless he feels like he's capable of playing at a level that he's played over the course of the years. I know he's working hard to get back."
Favre acknowledged on Joe Buck Live that he knew then people were sick of hearing about whether or not he would return to play in the NFL, and the week that training camp started he finally told the Vikings he would was going to remain retired.
Now that training camp is completed – at least the Mankato portion of it – it appears Favre is actually going to make a trip to Winter Park with the intention of signing.
In July, offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell and head athletic trainer Eric Sugarman visited Favre in Mississippi to check on his progress in rehabilitating his shoulder, but, according to ESPN at the time, "Favre also warned the Vikings representatives that he might be forced to delay a decision on whether to play until just before the team opens training camp," according to the report, "… because he wants to be totally confident that he can provide the team with 16-plus healthy starts before doing so."
The indecisiveness with Favre off the field should be no surprise. That's been the way that Favre has operated for years. He contemplated retirement before the 2008 season, but his March 6, 2008 teary-eye press conference was the most convincing evidence that he could be done playing football in the NFL.
Favre didn't even wait for that month of March to be completed before he told the Packers he might want to return. Less than a week later, he decided that he would stay retired, according to a Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel account of his retirement contemplation timeline.
A month later, the Packers selected Brian Brohm and Matt Flynn in the NFL draft and began in earnest to really set the stage for former first-round pick Aaron Rodgers' ascent to the starting role.
At the end of Green Bay's organized team activities and minicamps last year, Favre told Packers coach Mike McCarthy on June 20 that he might return. On July 8, Favre's agent, Bus Cook, told McCarthy and Green Bay general manager Ted Thompson that Favre wanted to return, at which time the Packers said they were moving on without Favre. However, the team didn't want to simply release Favre and make him available to any other team (read: the Vikings or Bears), so they denied his official request for a release on July 11.
Less than a week later, the team filed tampering charges against the Vikings, an accusation that wasn't upheld once the NFL conducted its investigation.
Favre pressed the issue further when he said he would report to Packers training camp instead of just letting it all go away. While he didn't show up for camp when it opened, likely at the team's request, he did fly to Green Bay a week later, met with McCarthy for five hours and eventually flew home while the Packers started trade talks. Favre's statements and his official request for reinstatement back into the league were enough to get the Packers to relent, and on Aug. 6, 2008, the Packers traded Favre to the New York Jets.
That was exactly five months of drama and speculation from the time Favre said his teary good-byes in front of the cameras in Green Bay until he donned the green of another team. The Packers tried to get him to stay retired. They reportedly offered him a $20 million marketing deal. And, yet, two things always seemed to prevail: Favre's indecisiveness and his competitive desire to play.
It looks like his competitive desire has won out once again.
Report: Favre headed to Minnesota
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