Favre talks, future remains undecided

Vikings quarterback Brett Favre talked publicly for the first time about his pending decision whether or not to return to the NFL for a 20th season, but he hasn't made his decision yet.

Brett Favre gave his first extensive interview of the offseason, but his play-call for the future still isn't clear.

Favre said he hasn't decided yet whether he will return to the Vikings for the 2010 season, but he knows the team would like to know his decision soon. He is recovering nicely from ankle surgery to clean up scar tissue and bone spurs, but the commitment to come back is taking longer.

"I just don't know. I do not want to stir the pot. If it (a comment) comes from me, it's a big deal," Favre told the Biloxi Sun Herald on Thursday. "At my age, all surgeries are major. The three I've had on the same ankle were considered minor, but major to me. It feels fine now. If my body was a wreck, the decision would be made. But that is not the case. I know they (Vikings) want to know."

"… I know I can still play at a high level. Last year was a great year, but it could have been better (the Vikings lost in the NFC Championship). When (Vikings coach Brad) Childress came to my home a few weeks ago, he told me to take my time. But the team would need to know at some point."

Favre's revelation that Childress visited recently would make it at least the second time this offseason the head coach has visited Favre in Mississippi. He also stopped to talk with Favre after the NFL Scouting Combine in February, but Childress didn't pressure Favre for a decision then either.

"Hell, I want to know. But I am not going to press it," Favre said Thursday. "If I do not play, it does not cost the Vikings a dime. They keep the $13 million (in salary). I know they have confidence in the players they have. They had a chance to draft (Notre Dame quarterback Jimmy) Clausen in the first round, but they didn't want one."

The Vikings passed on several quarterbacks in the early rounds of April's draft, but in the sixth round they selected Alabama-Birmingham's Joe Webb. However, they drafted Webb with the intention of switching him from quarterback to receiver. After seeing him throw the ball at the end of rookie minicamp, the coaching staff decided to keep him at quarterback for the summer and that's likely where he will remain at the start of training camp, whether Favre returns by then or not (most expect Favre will rejoin the team after the Mankato portion of training camp).

The lure to return for a 20th season could be spurred by how close the Vikings came to making the Super Bowl last year. They lost to the New Orleans Saints in the NFC Championship in overtime after Favre threw an interception in the final minute of regulation as the Vikings approached field goal range. Favre said he'd love to return and beat the Saints – the Vikings open the season in New Orleans on a nationally televised Thursday night game on Sept. 9.

After 4,202 yards passing, 33 touchdowns, seven interceptions and the first 100-plus passer rating of his career, Favre felt strongly about his performance in 2009.

"It was my best season," he said. "I've had three MVPs and that was not one of them. I know I can still play at a high level. I know I still love to play the game.

"I do know when it's over, it's over. I can't play forever. It's not like being a dentist or playing golf, I can't play football forever."

No one knows for sure what Favre's decision will be – longtime teammate Ryan Longwell said Favre is 50-50 to return and Childress said nothing would surprise him – but Favre doesn't want to make a decision before he's ready. He did that in Green Bay and his premature retirement announcement backfired when he wanted to return as training camp neared in 2008.

"That is why I am staying quiet at this time," Favre said. "I have people telling me all the time that the NFL is better when I play. That is a big compliment and it makes me feel good. I also have people telling me that when I retire, they are going to stop watching football. I know that's B.S."

Tim Yotter is the publisher of Viking Update. Follow Viking Update on Twitter and discuss this topic on our message boards. To become a subscriber to the Viking Update web site or magazine, click here.

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