Brett Favre is back. It remains to be
seen whether he'll still be the leader of the Pack.
The Green Bay Packers reluctantly embraced Favre's forced return
to the football field Sunday, after failing to come to a financial
agreement that would manage to make Favre happy while staying
And while it's not yet clear what role Favre will play once he
reports to Packers camp Monday, Aaron Rodgers says he's ready for a
potential competition with Favre after serving as his backup for
"I'm a competitor. I'm going to compete," Rodgers said after a
scrimmage Sunday night. "This isn't going to be easy. It's going
to be a dogfight. And I know if they do open it up to competition,
not a lot of people give me a chance, but I believe in myself and
I'm going to be the best I can be and let coach decide from
Packers coach Mike McCarthy said he hasn't decided what
direction his quarterback situation will take. Given Favre's track
record of waffling on his football future, McCarthy first wants to
talk to Favre on Monday before he makes any decision on opening the
job up to competition.
"There have been no promises," McCarthy said. "Once again,
there has been indecision throughout Brett's path back here to
Green Bay. It's important for us to sit down and communicate."
The NFL announced Sunday that Favre will be reinstated and added
to the Packers' active roster on Monday. Commissioner Roger Goodell
had held off on granting Favre's request for reinstatement for
nearly a week, hoping Favre and the team could resolve their
"Although we built this year around the assumption that Brett
meant what he said about retiring, Brett is coming back," said
team president and CEO Mark Murphy. "We will welcome him back and
turn this situation to our advantage."
A private plane carrying Favre, wife Deanna and agent James
"Bus" Cook arrived in Green Bay shortly after 8 p.m. EDT Sunday
night. Favre exited the plane and waved to a crowd of a few hundred
fans gathered at the airport - in a severe lightning storm, no less
- before driving off in an SUV.
The reinstatement will become effective at 1 p.m. EDT Monday,
when Favre will be added to the Packers' active roster. By
reinstating Favre, Goodell is following through on a recent promise
to force action.
"I'm happy," veteran receiver Donald Driver said. "I'm
excited. It's good to have him back in the house."
Earlier this week, the team offered Favre a long-term,
multimillion-dollar marketing agreement that likely would have kept
him retired. But Favre's decision to report to camp makes such an
agreement far less likely.
A trade remains a possibility. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
reported on its Web site late Sunday night that the Packers have
had preliminary contact with the Vikings on a potential trade for
"Frankly, Brett's change of mind put us in a very difficult
spot," Murphy said in a statement released by the team. "We now
will revise many actions and assumptions about our long-term
future, all predicated on Brett's decision last March to retire.
"As a result of his decision, we invested considerably in a new
and different future without Brett and we were obviously moving in
that direction. That's why this wasn't easy. Having crossed the
Rubicon once when Brett decided to retire, it's very difficult to
reorient our plans and cross it again in the opposite direction -
but we'll put this to our advantage."
Could reorienting their plans include a competition between
Favre and Aaron Rodgers for the starting job? Team officials have
maintained that if Favre returned to the Packers, it would be in
some role other than as the starter - a job that belonged to
In his statement, Murphy said only that coach Mike McCarthy
would "talk to the team and the quarterbacks about the plan moving
forward, and after he has done that we will share it publicly."
Rodgers had a rough night in the Packers' annual "Family
Night" scrimmage at Lambeau Field on Sunday night, as a few boos
were mixed in with enthusiastic cheers from the crowd of 56,600
when he was introduced.
"Yeah, I take it personally," Rodgers said of the fan
reaction. "But like I said, it's not the first time and it won't
be the last time."
Rodgers hit his first pass of the night to Donald Driver, and
drew a pass interference penalty on a deep pass to Driver on the
next play. He then missed on his next six attempts, including
several balls that seemed to bounce off receivers' hands.
After he threw another three incompletions to begin a simulated
two-minute drill, Rodgers appeared to be heating up until he threw
an interception in the end zone to safety Aaron Rouse.
McCarthy said Rodgers was "solid," and the offense struggled
as a unit.
The Packers do not have another scheduled public practice until
Tuesday afternoon. Favre's arrival in training camp could cause a
major disruption to the team, although he may not begin practicing
with the rest of the team right away.
Favre retired in March but has been having second thoughts. Team
officials have insisted in recent weeks that they are moving on
with Rodgers, though, causing tensions to rise between Favre and
Team officials publicly have ruled out releasing Favre, fearing
he would immediately sign with division rival Minnesota.
McCarthy has said the Packers had a plan in place should Favre
report to camp. He first would have to pass a physical exam and a
conditioning test, then may be limited to individual drills.
Rodgers remains the starter - for now, anyway.
"If we played a game tomorrow, Aaron Rodgers would be the
starting quarterback," McCarthy said. "I'm not going to change
any direction that we've gone with this football team based on the
information I have here today. That's part of our conversation
tomorrow, and we have all the confidence in the world in Aaron."