Favre ready to return?
GREEN BAY, Wis. ó Brett Favre dismissed an ESPN report that heís considering coming out of retirement as iall rumor.î
Favre responded Wednesday to the ESPN report by telling his hometown newspaper Web site, SunHerald.com in Gulfport, Miss., that iitís all rumor.î
The paper reported that Favre sent a text message saying thereís ino reasonî for a media frenzy.
ESPN reported that an unidentified Packers source said the 38-year-old Favre told coach Mike McCarthy in the past two weeks that he has the itch to play.
iThe Packers have no reaction,î team spokesman Jeff Blumb told The Associated Press.
Favreís agent, James iBusî Cook, didnít return a message seeking comment. Packers general manager Ted Thompson and McCarthy were on vacation.
Favre retired March 6 after a 17-year career.
Cornerback Al Harris said on ESPNís iNFL Liveî that Favre made similar comments to him.
iI know he has the itch to come back and play,î Harris said. iIf he will or not, I donít know.î
The Packers plan to use Aaron Rodgers as their starting quarterback for the upcoming season, and heís been leading the team through organized team activities and minicamp.
Rodgers has been groomed to take over for Favre since being selected in the first round in 2005, but has played sparingly.
iAaron is our quarterback,î Harris said. iBrettís retired. But if he wanted to come back, there would be some guys who wouldnít mind it. I would welcome him back with open arms.î
Favre has two years left on his contract at an average of about $12.5 million per season. The Packers placed him on the reserve-retired list in the spring so his salary does not now count toward the cap.
Favreís commitment to retirement has been questioned since his announcement. That talk resumed in mid-June when Favre withdrew from the American Century Celebrity Golf Championship at Lake Tahoe, scheduled for July 11-13.
Tournament spokesman Steve Griffith said then that Favre had to miss the event because of a scheduling conflict.
When he retired, a teary Favre said, iIíve given everything I possibly could give to this organization, the game of football, and I donít think Iíve got anything left to give And thatís it. I know I can play. But I donít think I want to.î
But less than two months later, he told reporters he might be open to returning if Rodgers was injured.
Favre, a three-time MVP, leads the league with 442 touchdown passes, 61,655 yards passing and 160 career victories. He started 253 consecutive regular-season games, more than any other quarterback in history. Including the playoffs, his streak stands at 275.
Rodgers, meanwhile, has stirred up controversy himself this week. In a Sports Illustrated article, the quarterback said he didnít feel pressure to connect with fans the way Favre did.
iI donít feel I need to sell myself to the fans,î he said in the article. iThey need to get on board now or keep their mouths shut.î