The hard feelings from the messy divorce between the Green Bay Packers and Brett Favre are easing.
Just not enough for the team to retire his No. 4 this season.
“I don’t anticipate that,” Packers President and CEO Mark Murphy told a few reporters on Tuesday following a sneak preview of the financial data that will be detailed at next week’s shareholders meeting.
When Packer Report asked Murphy if Favre might come back as an honorary captain or special guest before a game this season, Murphy was much less firm in his response.
“Umm, we’ll see,” Murphy said.
“First of all,” he continued, “we’re definitely going to retire his number. I really feel strongly that he deserves it for what he accomplished as a player, what he meant to the organization. The timing has to be right for him and the organization.”
Murphy didn’t have a feel for the “timing” and how long it would take for the wounds to heal. Favre retired following the 2007 season, only to change his mind a couple months later. The Packers decided to stick with Aaron Rodgers as their starter and traded Favre to the New York Jets. Favre played one season for the Jets, retired, then resurfaced with rival Minnesota, where he spent his final two seasons.
After a Cold War of sorts between the two sides, the tensions have eased over the last several months.
“I think the NFL Honors show down at the Super Bowl was a real good first step (with) he and Aaron jointly presenting that award,” Murphy said. “I’ve been in touch with Favre off and on over a period of time. We want to be an NFL team where all of our former players feel good about coming back. Certainly, he’s a big part of that because of what he meant to the organization. As a former player myself, I know it can be emotional. Usually, your career doesn’t end the way you want it. I think as time goes on, he’ll look differently back on it.”
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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.