Favre, Pack find middle ground in avoiding camp circus -- for now
SUMRALL, Miss. -- Three new storylines emerged in the Brett Favre Saga Saturday night, as the 38-year-old temporarily unemployed quarterback decided to smoke the peace pipe with Packers general manager Ted Thompson -- for now -- and shelve plans to show up at the opening of Green Bay's training camp Sunday.
Favre may be playing this high-stakes game with the Packers, with a new referee: NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, who told Favre late Saturday afternoon in a telephone conversation he would do what he could to try to help Favre and the team come to a decision both sides could live with. But as Saturday night turned into Sunday, it was virtually impossible to see what that solution might be.
Favre told SI.com here at his home west of Hattiesburg, Miss., Saturday night: "I had planned on reporting for the start of Packers training camp Sunday, but Ted Thompson asked if I would give him a couple of days to try to get the situation resolved. I agreed to do that. I don't want to be a distraction to the Packers, and I hope in the next few days we can come to an agreement that would allow me to continue playing football.''
Favre also said: "I've also spoken with Commissioner Goodell a couple of times this week, in hopes that he could be some sort of arbitrator in this. I hope he can be.''
Bevell coached the Green Bay quarterbacks from 2003-05, while Childress spent a lot of time in Green Bay studying the Packers offense as a University of Wisconsin assistant in the mid-1990s.
But that may not be enough to prevent the league from finding the Vikings guilty of tampering. Favre was interviewed this week by the league's vice president of security, Milt Ahlerich, about the Packers' belief that the Vikings tampered.
"I have no qualms about admitting I talked to them,'' Favre said. "Talking with Milt, he said, 'Brett, did they entice you?' I said no, 'I don't need to be enticed anywhere.' They absolutely did not entice me to come to Minnesota.''
In an earlier conversation with Thompson on Saturday, Favre said he was led to believe he would not be allowed to compete for the starting quarterback job with Aaron Rodgers. Coach Mike McCarthy said strongly that Rodgers would be his starting quarterback this year. Favre said he would consider a trade to any team, but he was noncommittal about going to either the Jets or Bucs -- the two suitors most often mentioned.
What has become obvious in the Favre affair is the Packers don't want him returning to the team in any active role. That's one reason a solution to this seems so far off, even if Favre puts pressure on the team by reporting by, say, Wednesday.
It could be that the Packers will force Favre to stay away from the team to avoid the kind of distractions defending division champs don't need, even if they have to pay him his 2008 salary of $12.7 million.
"I told Roger, 'We're at an impasse. I would like a total release,' '' Favre said.
The Packers won't grant his wish, fearful that he'll sign with either the Vikings or Bears. They're probably right. And so the standoff goes on. The first couple of Packer practices will go on without the sideshow of Favre, but it's a temporary reprieve from all-Favre, all-the-time coverage cycling back in midweek.