Packers Begin Without Number 4.... - WDAM-TV 7-News, Weather, Sports-Hattiesburg, MS

Packers Begin Without Number 4....

 

With the Brett Favre standoff still

simmering, Aaron Rodgers took his place Monday as the Packers' new

starting quarterback.

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,"

he said.

Favre wants to be released, something Thompson opposes. The

Packers hold Favre's rights until his contract expires after the

2010 season.

"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

effigy outside."

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

a settlement.

"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

resolution."

Goodell said the league was working toward a resolution of the

tampering investigation.

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

he reinstates."

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

we felt."

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

challenge."

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.

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