Packers accept Favreís ploy to play again
By Chris Jenkins
GREEN BAY, Wis. ó Brett Favre is back.
It remains to be seen whether heíll still be the leader of the Pack.
The Green Bay Packers reluctantly embraced Favreís forced return to the football field Sunday after failing to come to a financial agreement that would manage to make Favre happy while staying retired.
The NFL announced Sunday that Favre will be reinstated and added to the Packersí active roster today.
League commissioner Roger Goodell had held off on granting Favreís request for reinstatement for nearly a week, hoping Favre and the team could resolve their standoff.
iAlthough we built this year around the assumption that Brett meant what he said about retiring, Brett is coming back,î team president and CEO Mark Murphy said. iWe will welcome him back and turn this situation to our advantage.î
A private plane carrying Favre, wife Deanna and agent James iBusî Cook arrived in Green Bay shortly after 8 p.m. on Sunday. Favre exited the plane and waved to a crowd of several hundred fans gathered at the airport ó in a severe lightning storm, no less ó before driving off in an SUV.
The reinstatement will become effective at 1 p.m. today, when Favre will be added to the Packersí active roster.
iIím happy,î veteran receiver Donald Driver said. iIím excited. Itís good to have him back in the house.î
A trade remains possible.
iFrankly, Brettís change of mind put us in a very difficult spot,î Murphy said in a statement released by the team. iWe now will revise many actions and assumptions about our long-term future, all predicated on Brettís decision last March to retire.
iAs a result of his decision, we invested considerably in a new and different future without Brett and we were obviously moving in that direction. Thatís why this wasnít easy. Having crossed the Rubicon once when Brett decided to retire, itís very difficult to reorient our plans and cross it again in the opposite direction ó but weíll put this to our advantage.î
Could reorienting their plans include a competition between Favre and Aaron Rodgers for the starting job? Team officials have maintained that if Favre returned to the Packers, it would be in some role other than as the starter.
In his statement, Murphy said only that coach Mike McCarthy would italk to the team and the quarterbacks about the plan moving forward, and after he has done that we will share it publicly.î
A few boos were mixed in with enthusiastic cheers from the crowd of 56,600 when Rodgers was introduced during the Packersí annual iFamily Nightî scrimmage at Lambeau Field on Sunday.
iWell, there comes time when (my) mentor and I get to compete, and I guess thatís whatís going to happen,î Rodgers said after the scrimmage. iIf thatís what happens, then Iím going to give it my best shot and leave the rest up to coach.î