Favre tells some in Vikings organization he's retiring
UPDATED (3:16 p.m.)...
Quarterback Brett Favre has told some members of the Minnesota Vikings organization that he intends to retire, an NFL source said Tuesday.
The source, speaking on the condition of anonymity because Favre's decision has not been announced, confirmed multiple reports that the quarterback informed some people with the Vikings that he plans to walk away from the sport rather than return for another season and a possible Super Bowl run.
There has been no official confirmation by Favre or the Vikings that Favre will retire. The team was not ruling out the possibility of Favre continuing to play, and there was a degree of skepticism around the league because Favre is coming off a superb season and has reversed two previous decisions to retire.
Vikings Coach Brad Childress said during a news conference at the team's training camp in Mankato, Minn., that Favre had not made a definitive statement to him about retiring.
"I'm not a big hearsay person," Childress said. "... I've got to hear it from the horse's mouth."
The Minneapolis Star Tribune reported that Favre began informing Vikings personnel late Monday that he would retire. ESPN reported that Favre sent text messages to Vikings teammates saying, "This is it." The Associated Press reported that Favre plans to retire because he feels that his surgically repaired ankle is not progressing as he'd hoped. Fox reported that Favre cited wear and tear on his body in telling teammates that he won't return.
It appears the Vikings might be holding out some hope that Favre could change his mind again and play.
"He's going to come to this decision," Childress said at his news conference. "It's not going to be the Wednesday before we go down to play New Orleans on Thursday night.... If he's in, we move forward. If [not], we've only been in camp four days."
The Vikings are scheduled to face the Saints at the Superdome on Sept. 9 in the NFL's season-opening game on a Thursday night.
Neither Favre nor his agent, Bus Cook, was immediately available to comment.
Others around the league were taking a wait-and-see approach.
Philadelphia Eagles Coach Andy Reid, a former quarterbacks coach for the Green Bay Packers who worked with Favre, was asked about Favre's reported retirement at the Eagles' training camp in Bethlehem, Pa., and said: "I've been asked that question once or twice."
Reid said he would comment on Favre's retirement only "when it's all said and done."
Childress declined to say whether the Vikings would be willing to wait until after the season-opening game to see if Favre is willing to play at that point.
"Those are all kind of if-then hypotheses," Childress said. "Right now, all I know is we've got a film study at 12:30 and then a 2:45 center-quarterback exchange. We're day to day right here.... You asked: Was it fluid? Everything is fluid.... This is a very fluid situation."
Childress said the nonstop Favre speculation is "not going to be detrimental within our team group. Everybody on the outside, you can bat it around however you want to. And you will, and that's great. But it's not going to be detrimental because we talk. Our team talks. We know that we're in kind of a forming stage right here."
But after being asked a series of Favre-related questions, Childress also said: "I feel like this is Watergate. Have I done something wrong that I'm on trial?"
Before ending his question-and-answer session with reporters, Childress was asked if the Vikings could be as good without Favre this season as they would be with him.
"Don't know yet," Childress said. "We'll find out."
Favre wrote on his Web site during the offseason that he "couldn't be happier" about his decision to play for the Vikings last season.
"Regardless of what the future holds, I want everyone to know that I will cherish the memories of the past year for the rest of my life," Favre wrote.
Favre said during recent interviews he was undecided about playing a 20th NFL season.
Favre led the Vikings to the NFC title game last season and had one of his finest seasons, and was expected by many observers to return to the team this season after undergoing offseason ankle surgery.
It would be his third retirement from the NFL. He returned to play after announcing his retirement the previous two times.
Favre played for the Vikings last season after retiring from the New York Jets.
He played the 2008 season for the Jets after retiring from the Packers, then changing his mind and being traded to the Jets.
If Favre does retire, the Vikings would be left with Tarvaris Jackson or Sage Rosenfels starting at quarterback as they attempt to reach the Super Bowl this season.
The Vikings passed up offseason opportunities to add a quarterback, apparently believing that Favre would play this season.
Favre turns 41 in October and has been noncommittal publicly about whether he would play this season. He had been working out at Oak Grove High School in Hattiesburg, Miss., in anticipation of possibly playing another season.
Childress visited Favre last month at Favre's home in Mississippi, and said publicly afterward he didn't know if Favre would play.
Favre signed a two-year, $25 million contract with the Vikings before last season. The deal runs through this season and is to pay him $13 million this season if he plays.
He finished fourth in the NFL most valuable player balloting last season behind fellow quarterbacks Peyton Manning of the Indianapolis Colts, Drew Brees of the Saints and Philip Rivers of the San Diego Chargers. Favre threw for 4,202 yards and 33 touchdowns for the Vikings last season, with only seven interceptions.
The Vikings lost in overtime in New Orleans in the NFC championship game, and Favre stayed in the game after suffering an ankle injury but threw a costly interception late in regulation.
Favre underwent ankle surgery in May in Florida.
He has passed for 69,329 yards and 497 touchdowns, with 317 interceptions, in 19 NFL seasons for the Atlanta Falcons, Packers, Jets and Vikings. He has won three league MVP awards and has been selected to 11 Pro Bowls, and is the league's career leader in passing attempts, completions, passing yards, touchdown passes, interceptions and wins by a starting quarterback. He has started a record 285 consecutive regular season games (and 309 straight games including the playoffs).
He played 16 seasons for the Packers before tearfully announcing his retirement in a nationally televised news conference following the 2007 season. Favre later changed his mind and decided to continue playing. But the Packers had decided to move on with Aaron Rodgers as their quarterback, and a training-camp standoff ended with Favre being traded to the Jets.
Favre played one season for the Jets. He was plagued by an ailing shoulder and announced his retirement in a conference call with reporters, but again changed his mind and reported to training camp with the Vikings last summer.
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