With the Brett Favre standoff still
simmering, Aaron Rodgers took his place Monday as the Packers' new
Rodgers is trying to ignore what has become a daily soap opera
involving the three-time MVP. Favre is considering filing for
reinstatement with the NFL and reporting to camp this week, a move
likely intended to pressure Green Bay to grant him his release -
something the Packers refuse to do - or trade him.
The NFL had not received reinstatement paperwork from Favre as
of Monday evening.
"I feel like this is really between Brett and the organization,
and I'm just trying to stay focused on the things I can control,"
Rodgers said after the team's first practice at camp.
General manager Ted Thompson spoke twice with Favre on Saturday,
for about 45 minutes each time. They decided it would be best for
Favre to stay away from Green Bay for now.
"We still have not gotten to the point where we agree on what
the best option is," Thompson said Monday. "We have sort of
agreed to disagree, and at that time he suggested he would probably
delay coming to training camp for at least a couple of days to see
how things worked out."
The Packers aren't going to allow Favre to play for an NFC North
rival and aren't going to trade him without getting value in
return. And Favre might not want to play for any of the teams
showing interest, a group that includes Tampa Bay and the New York
Jets. Thompson acknowledged talking to other teams.
"There have been some 'kicking of tires'-type conversations,"
Favre wants to be released, something Thompson opposes. The
Packers hold Favre's rights until his contract expires after the
"A release just doesn't make a lot of sense from the Packers'
point of view," Thompson said. "I've not heard many people say
that's a good option - even people that would like to hang me in
The Packers have filed tampering charges against Minnesota,
suspecting Favre's latest flip-flop on his future was spurred
mainly by interest from the Vikings.
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell is trying to help the sides reach
"I'm glad to see that there are productive discussions and
they're talking directly to one another," Goodell said from
Buffalo Bills training camp Monday. "They're both important to the
league going forward, and I'm hopeful they'll reach a proper
Goodell said the league was working toward a resolution of the
Thompson said Favre wanted people to know he doesn't want to
become a distraction.
"His reasoning behind that is he cares very much about this
team, cares about these players, his former teammates, so he
doesn't want to do anything to disrupt from that," Thompson said.
Packers coach Mike McCarthy downplayed that possibility.
"We talked about it as a team yesterday," he said. "I don't
foresee Brett Favre coming in here as a problem. Brett Favre is a
big part of the Green Bay Packers history, and he may be a part of
the future as we move forward, and that's an option that he has if
Thompson reiterated that if Favre were to return to the Packers,
it would not be as the starter. Thompson also did not make much of
the idea of an open competition with Rodgers.
"We have to continue down this path," Thompson said. "Where
that leads, I don't know, but I didn't want to be dishonest or
disingenuous and say 'OK, we can do this and then change our mind.'
I think Brett Favre deserves more than that, so we told him the way
Veteran offensive tackle Mark Tauscher lauded Rodgers for his
handling of an "uncomfortable situation."
"I think he's stepped in and really taken the reins of what
we're doing here," Tauscher said. "I think everybody in this
locker room has a lot of confidence in what he can do."
Wide receiver Donald Driver spoke to Favre over the weekend.
"He's a legend," Driver said. "It's just like if anybody else
walked in here and wanted to come back and play, you have to
welcome 'em back in. You take your hat off to him. He's one of the
greatest players in Packers history, as well as the NFL."
Rodgers believes he has earned his teammates' respect.
"They've seen the hard work I've put in," Rodgers said. "I
think I've earned a lot of respect from the guys playing on the
scout team, being here 100 percent the last three offseasons.
Obviously they want to see a guy who's consistent on the field on
Sundays, and obviously that's going to take a few weeks to prove
that to some of the older guys, but I look forward to that
Monday's practice attracted more national coverage than usual,
but it wasn't exactly a media circus.
"I was expecting elephants and different things to kind of be
out there," Tauscher said. "There's a lot of media and stuff, but
it wasn't a case where there were trapeze artists."
Favre's presence could change that in a hurry.