Retire, Return, Re-unite: Favre and the Packers Together Again?

The big story in the NFL is that Brett Favre is contemplating a return to the NFL. He’s having second thoughts about his decision to retire from the Green Bay Packers a few months ago. Everyone is weighing in with their opinion: should he or shouldn’t he? Will Favre and the Packers re-establish their relationship or is it too late?

You can’t fault Favre for having second thoughts. Many of the best moments of his life came with the Packers. Sure, the Packers had a storied past before Favre. The Packers are a franchise steeped in tradition with one of the strongest fan bases in the NFL. But Favre added something to the mix. It’s quite possible Green Bay will never have another like him, and most of their fans wouldn’t hesitate to admit it.

A Super Bowl ring, three MVP awards and countless NFL records: Favre did it all as a member of the Packers. Still he was left wanting more. As the Packers’ roster changed around him, Favre wondered if his best days in Green Bay had passed him by, but his young teammates rallied around him and the Packers made it all the way to the NFC Championship Game last season. However, things did not go according to plan. Favre threw a costly interception and the Packers lost the game at home to the underdog New York Giants.

Things ended badly so you can’t blame Favre for throwing in the towel. The way things ended left a bad taste in his mouth heading into the off-season. Plus, it appeared that he and the Packers were going in two different directions. Favre was getting older and the roster around him was young and full of potential. Backup quarterback Aaron Rodgers was waiting in the wings. It looked like the Packers would have no problem moving on with life after Favre.

Favre still loved football and the Green Bay Packers, but at his retirement press conference he broke down and cried. Even though he knew he could still play and possibly lead the Packers to another Super Bowl, Favre was calling it quits. His body was still capable of delivering on Sundays, but the grueling toll the season took on his mind and body had become too much or so he thought at the time.

As the months went by and Favre began life after football, rumor has it that he got “an itch” to come back to play again. At this point it remains speculation, but don’t fault Favre as a flip-flopper. When he retired, he felt like that was what he had to do. Everything seemed to be pointing to his retirement, even if he still loved playing the game. Now that the season is growing nearer and Favre has realized that nothing else he does is going to compare to that experience, he’s probably wondering why he ever walked away.

The interesting thing is that many experts wonder what the Packers will do if Favre does make it known that he wants to return. They question if the Packers will take Favre back. As much as he’s meant to that franchise, they’ve spent the past several months talking themselves into the post-Favre era of football. They’ve been trying to sell their fans on Aaron Rodgers as the new face of the Packers, and some fans have hopped on that bandwagon, hoping that Favre stays retired. Other fans think Favre is still the best quarterback for Green Bay regardless of his age and would welcome him back with back with open arms. But what would the team do?

It’s hard to imagine Favre playing for a team other than the Packers. Sure, he began his career with Atlanta, but he saw very little action with the Falcons and that relationship was quickly terminated with a trade to Green Bay. Once he arrived with the Packers, though, Favre took off and became a new man in the NFL. A surefire Hall of Famer, Favre is the most recognizable Packer of all-time except for maybe legendary coach Vince Lombardi, who is essentially the father of the franchise.

Imagining Favre wearing colors other than green and yellow seems almost blasphemous at this point, but it’s a possibility. If he wants to come back and the Packers don’t want him, we could very well see Favre end his playing days in a different uniform.

Ultimately the decision will have to be made together. Favre has to state his intentions at some point. With the season only a couple of months away, the clock is ticking. Then, if he does announce a desire to return, the Packers have to decide if they want to re-commit to Favre or if they’ve moved on, in which case Favre will have to look for another suitor this season.

A legendary QB and a class-act franchise, Favre and the Packers will always be linked in NFL history. But can they settle their differences and make another run at a championship? Will they add another chapter to their epic tale? Not even the ghost of Curly Lambeau knows the answer.

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