GREEN BAY, Wis. - The bond between Brett Favre and the Green Bay Packers appears to be broken beyond repair.
Packers coach Mike McCarthy said Tuesday evening that after approximately six hours of what he called “brutally honest” conversations with Favre over the past two days, the three-time MVP just isn’t in the right mind-set to be part of the team.
Even with the chance to win his starting job back potentially on the table, McCarthy said Favre couldn’t seem to get past emotional wounds that were opened as tensions mounted in recent weeks.
“The football team’s moving forward,” McCarthy said. “The train has left the station, whatever analogy you want. He needs to jump on the train and let’s go. Or, if we can’t get past things that have happened, I have to keep the train moving.”
McCarthy said he and Favre made plans to speak later Tuesday evening, but McCarthy didn’t seem to allow for the possibility that anything significant would change.
A trade could be coming next, with Tampa Bay re-emerging as a potential destination after seemingly being eliminated from consideration in recent weeks.
Packers officials have believed throughout the past month that Favre’s preference is to play for the Minnesota Vikings, but Favre could reconsider a trade to Tampa Bay — or elsewhere — if Green Bay holds firm in its commitment not to trade him to a division rival.
McCarthy wouldn’t address trade talks, but did say a quick resolution to the situation is important to the rest of his players.
“Absolutely,” McCarthy said. “The players, they want it resolved. Even talk to Brett about it — he feels bad about it. It’s time for them to talk about somebody else.”
Favre left Lambeau Field just before Packers practice Tuesday afternoon, taking a right turn out of the stadium’s back gate and heading away from the field where the rest of his teammates were assembling for drills.
Favre emerged from the stadium’s loading dock exit at 2:34 p.m. EDT Tuesday, hugging Packers senior security advisor Jerry Parins before getting in his SUV and driving away. Shortly after, an SUV driven by Packers general manager Ted Thompson left the gate heading in the same direction.
“We’re at a stalemate,” Favre told ESPN Tuesday morning. “Mike and I both agreed last night that me being out there is a distraction and will continue to be a distraction. We all know the reason I’m here is because the commissioner reinstated me so we have a lot of things to figure out. It’s simple and complicated, both at the same time.”
McCarthy said Favre was excused from practice Tuesday, adding that he wouldn’t have practiced with the team anyway because of an abdominal strain found in his physical examination Monday. McCarthy did not say whether Favre would be fined if he stayed away from camp starting Wednesday.
Favre told ESPN he doesn’t have a problem with competing with Rodgers for the starting job, and can “truly understand” why McCarthy would make Rodgers the starter. But Favre also said a competition “probably isn’t going to work” and that “the problem is that there’s been a lot of damage done and I can’t forget it.”
Did Favre not feel wanted or welcome enough by the Packers?
“That’s part of the issue with him, quite frankly,” McCarthy said. “And listening to him talk about that, you respect his opinion. And frankly, I told him, I said, ’I’ll take responsibility because I have a voice in the building.’ I never thought he truly was going to play. I thought he was emotionally driven for other reasons.”