Report: Packers could send Favre to rival

July 31, 2008 8:02:48 AM PDT
The Green Bay Packers, unable so far to trade Brett Favre and facing his arrival at training camp, are reportedly considering taking a step they desperately wanted to avoid: dealing him to a division rival.The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, citing a source close to the situation, on Wednesday reported the Packers were considering seeking a deal with one of their rivals, most likely the Minnesota Vikings or Chicago Bears, if all else fails.

That follows reports that the Packers on Wednesday offered Favre a substantial sum of money -- as much as $20 million over several years -- to stay retired.

On Monday, Packers general manager Ted Thompson said the Packers would not trade Favre within the NFC North. Favre, who has asked the NFL to be reinstated, is reportedly interested in playing for the Vikings, who play the Packers to open their season on Monday Night Football on Sept. 8.

The Packers are committed to Aaron Rodgers as their quarterback of the future and are not considering Favre, who tearfully retired March 6th, returning to Green Bay as the starter.

An NFL source said he understood from the Packers that trading within the NFC North would be a last resort, according to the report. And the Packers are still trying to convince Favre to consider trade possibilities with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and New York Jets.

But while the Packers continue to try to buy themselves more time to deal, Favre has yet to talk to either team.

Team president Mark Murphy traveled to Hattiesburg, Miss., to meet with Favre and his agent James "Bus" Cook on Wednesday, and multiple media outlets later reported that the team offered the quarterback substantial money to stay retired.

WTMJ television in Milwaukee reported that the team offered Favre in the neighborhood of $20 million over several years to stay retired. The green Bay Press-Gazette reported on its Web site that the team offered Favre "a substantial salary" to stay away. Both reports cited sources close to Favre. But signs still point to the quarterback reporting to Packers camp.

According to a source close to Favre, said the Packers have told him they might limit him to individual drills if he shows up at training camp, the Press-Gazette reported.

Murphy left the meeting in the early evening and had no comment for reporters but issued a statement Wednesday night.

"I was in Hattiesburg today and had a nice visit with Brett Favre," the statement read. "We discussed a number of topics not related to football, including Brett's long-term relationship with the Packers. I consider our conversation to be confidential and am going to be respectful of Brett and his family and keep the details private. "[General manager] Ted [Thompson] and [coach] Mike [McCarthy] are going to continue to work on the football side of this issue. They have my full support."

After the meeting, Cook was asked by the media if Favre could be back in Green Bay by Friday and he said that was a good possibility.

"He would love to go back in Green Bay," Cook said, in comments broadcast by ESPNEWS. "I mean, that's why he started working out. But right now, it looks like he'll be the quarterback at Oak Grove High School." Favre worked out with the school's football team on Wednesday before the meeting.

A league source told ESPN's Chris Mortensen on Wednesday night that NFL commissioner Roger Goodell hopes to speak with Favre on Thursday before he decides to reinstate him.

Mortensen reported earlier Wednesday that Goodell was unlikely to rule on Favre's request for reinstatement Wednesday in order to give the sides more time to work out an agreement on the quarterback's future.

"The commissioner is taking no action today," the NFL said in a statement Wednesday. "He wants to give both the Packers and Brett an appropriate amount of time to make decisions, including decisions impacting the team's roster and salary cap. When Brett is reinstated by the commissioner, we will announce it."

ESPN's Chris Mortensen and The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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