Reiterating what he’s said all along, Green Bay Packers President Mark Murphy told fans on Wednesday that the team intends to retire Brett Favre’s number.
“Eventually, he’ll come back into the fold. We are going to retire his number,” Murphy said during the team’s Tailgate Tour stop in Ashland, Wis., according to the Green Bay Press-Gazette. “He deserves that for what he did as a Packer. … There are very few players in our history that had their number retired. He deserves it though. But it’s a very, very meaningful honor and we want to do it at a time when it’s meaningful for both him and the organization.
“I think it’s probably going to be a few years. We want to make sure that he’s really retired first. We made that mistake when he first retired after the 2007 season. Ironically, we were going to retire his number and have a big ceremony at the opening game that next season against the Minnesota Vikings. Little did we know he’d end up playing that season for the Jets.”
For all the supposed acrimony from their messy divorce in Summer 2008, the bitterness has been mostly a one-way street. When Packer Report interviewed Murphy at Lambeau Field last year, at least three pictures of Favre hung prominently in Murphy’s office.
If the Packers are waiting for Favre to let bygones be bygones, there appeared to be a softening from him early this year. During the Packers’ playoff run in January, Favre said he held “no bitterness” toward his former employer of 16 years, which jettisoned him about six months after he finished second for NFL MVP honors and had guided the Packers to the NFC title game. He called his successor, Aaron Rodgers, the best quarterback in the league and predicted the Packers would win the Super Bowl.
“I hope they do, if you are wondering,” Favre wrote in an e-mail to ESPN’s Ed Werder.
Meanwhile, while signing autographs for the Hackleburg (Ala.) High School football team and employees of the Wrangler plant in that city on Wednesday, Favre said he was "done with football." Favre, a spokesman for the jeans company, was visiting with employees at a Wrangler plant that was destroyed by a tornado.
Favre retired for a third time following a 2010 season that was the worst statistically of his career. A year after almost leading the Vikings to the Super Bowl with arguably the best season of his brilliant career, he threw 11 touchdown passes and 19 interceptions and had his record consecutive-starts streak snapped at 297 games.
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Bill Huber is publisher of Packer Report magazine and PackerReport.com and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org, or leave him a question in Packer Report’s subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at twitter.com/packerreport.