Brett Favre has reportedly told Vikings players that he will not return to the NFL this fall.
On Tuesday morning, Vikings ownership and management were spotted in an animated discussion between the two practice fields in Mankato. Owners Zygi and Mark Wilf, Vice President of Football Operations Rob Brzezinski, Vice President of Player Personnel Rick Spielman, and Vice President of Legal Affairs Kevin Warren – the Vikings' chief contract negotiation team – took part in the discussion.
Head coach Brad Childress said he hadn't been informed by Favre or anybody else that the quarterback would not be returning.
"I'm not aware of any of those reports," Childress said when he addressed the media after Tuesday's morning practice. "Obviously I've been out here (on the practice field) for the last three hours or so.
"If and when something does happen, one way or the other, I'm sure he'll communicate that with me."
One of Favre's closest friends on the team, kicker Ryan Longwell, who was also a Favre teammate in Green Bay, said he just texted and talked with Favre Tuesday morning before practice. He, too, got no indication that he was retiring.
"I don't know where the reports came from, but he certainly hasn't said that to me," Longwell said. "We talk a lot. We've talked a lot this week. Obviously he's wondering how the team is doing and stuff and asking about the guys – concerned about his teammates."
If Favre did, indeed, decide to retire, those would no longer be "his teammates." Childress said Favre was planning to text receiver Percy Harvin after finding out about a death in Harvin's family.
Longwell admitted that Favre is struggling with the decision on whether or not to return, but as of Tuesday morning, he apparently still hadn't made up his mind.
"No. I definitely didn't get that indication. I know he's, over the past couple of weeks, been on both sides of the fence, as we old guys all are approaching training camp," Longwell said. "I'm sure he's getting closer to a decision. I know he wants to make it sooner than later."
Of course, Favre said he was retiring after the 2007 season with the Green Bay Packers and then decided to return as training camp opened. With the Packers moving on with Aaron Rodgers, they weren't interested in taking him back as a starter and traded him to the New York Jets.
Favre asked for and received his release from the Jets after New York drafted Mark Sanchez in the first round of the 2008 draft. The Vikings courted Favre throughout the summer and then were told just before training camp that he decided to retire.
On Aug. 18, after training camp had concluded, Favre arrived at Winter Park and signed a two-year contract that is scheduled to pay him $13 million this year.
"It's fluid. We text back and forth all the time," Childress said. "Our players, as teammates, those guys text back and forth all the time, so I'm not aware of any of those reports."
Longwell said his conversation with Favre lasted about 15 minutes right before practice. In fact, the two joked about a restaurant in Mankato that is offering Favre the chance to eat for free if he makes it to training camp.
"I've gotten texts from him. I told him about the free buffet at Pizza Ranch and he said he'd be on the next flight up," Longwell joked. "I don't know if that will turn him around to get up here sooner than later. He didn't say that he was ending it or retiring or anything."
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.
Longwell: Favre hasn't told me about plans
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