NFL: Favre declines to address rift with Packers
GREEN BAY, Wis. ó Brett Favre stuck to the script, declining to address his public rift with the Green Bay Packers in an appearance at Lambeau Field on Saturday.
In town to present former teammate Frank Winters for induction into the Packers’ Hall of Fame at a banquet Saturday night, Favre briefly spoke with reporters about his former center’s career before abruptly stepping off the stage and ducking out a side door.
But Favre did pause to praise the place where he used to play ó and now is trying to play his way out of.
“That’s the thing about Green Bay,” said Favre, who spoke for about three minutes. “It’s a special place. There’s a lot of tradition. You think of the Packers, you think of all these great names, and to be a part of that ó and I know Frank feels honored ó is a special thing. I’m thankful that he asked me to be here.”
With that, Favre introduced Winters and walked off the stage.
Winters said he was glad Favre kept his commitment to present him to the Packers’ Hall of Fame despite the fact that it might be an awkward situation, given the very public nature of Favre’s rift with the team in recent weeks.
“There’s a lot of people probably, around the NFL and the United States probably thinking Brett wouldn’t show up today,” said Winters, who had asked Favre to present him several months ago. “But I knew deep down inside he would, and he told me he would be here, and it’s a great honor.”
Favre retired in early March, but recently has been having second thoughts about playing in 2008. But the latest, and most intense, episode in several offseasons’ worth of Favre’s flip-flopping on his future in football was met with lukewarm enthusiasm by the Packers, who spent the offseason planning to move forward with Aaron Rodgers as their starter.
Favre asked to be released from his contract, a request the team has no plans to grant. The next step for Favre could be to petition NFL commissioner Roger Goodell for reinstatement, a move that would force the Packers to release him or place him on their active roster. He also could be traded.
Favre’s rights belong to the Packers until his current contract expires after the 2010 season.
In an interview with Fox News last week, Favre criticized general manger Ted Thompson for being dishonest with him. But Packers officials have gone out of their way not to criticize Favre, instead laying out a specific timeline of their dealings with him in the offseason.