Favre finally speaks out: Says he won't return unless arm is healthy

Former Green Bay Packers quarterback Brett Favre broke his silence Monday evening and revealed three key points in regards to his future and his past:...

Former Green Bay Packers quarterback Brett Favre broke his silence Monday evening and revealed three key points in regards to his future and his past:

1. He is considering only the Minnesota Vikings for a return in 2009 because he knows the offense so well;

2. His return hinges entirely on the health of his arm; and

3. His legacy in Green Bay should be defined by the 16 years he played there and not for his desire to play for one of the Packers' greatest rivals.

Favre flew to New York on Monday to be the guest for the debut of "Joe Buck Live" on HBO and confirmed to the Fox sportscaster that he wanted to play for Vikings.


"It makes perfect sense because it's an offense that I've ran for 16 years," Favre told Buck. "I could teach the offense. It was tough going to New York last year because I was two weeks late. It was a totally new offense for me. . . . But it was like learning a foreign language."

Minnesota, by contrast, offers a good defense, solid offensive line and Adrian Peterson at running back.

"It makes a lot of sense because the pieces are in place," Favre said. "They do have a great running back. If I go there, I mean, there's no guarantees. . . . I would like to think that, I think every player should think that he is a difference-maker. I think you have to believe that."

The New York Jets, for whom Favre played last season, released him at the end of April but he was nagged by the partially torn biceps tendon that he injured last year. Favre elected to have surgery 2 ½ weeks ago and said he should know in four or five weeks whether it was completely successful.

"I can throw. And I could throw before the surgery," Favre said. "What happened to me late in the year, I would throw it there and it would go there. And certain throws hurt."

Favre made it clear that the arm must be healthy for him to play for Minnesota. He just met with a Vikings trainer on Sunday to get exercises specific for his shoulder.

"If that is not up to par when the time comes, then I can't play," Favre said. "I went through it last year and I gutted it out, or whatever, but it affected me and it affected our team. I don't want to do that again. And I won't do it again. That is why I went ahead and had the surgery."

Favre's departure from Green Bay has divided many fans. He retired in March 2008 but came back last summer. By then, the Packers had moved on with Aaron Rodgers. After a stalemate with Favre, and with a lot of animosity on both sides, the Packers finally traded him to the Jets. The year was a bust, however, as the Jets failed to make the playoffs, coach Eric Mangini was canned and Favre was the center of criticism.


But if that wasn't dramatic enough, the news of Favre's desire to play for the Packers' archrival stirred up every opinion and debate imaginable among Packers and NFL fans.

"I don't know what to tell them," Favre said. "Vince Lombardi went to the Washington Redskins when he left. And his name's on the trophy. We give that trophy out every year. I don't hear too many people say, 'That damn traitor. He went to Washington.' Now, time heals a lot of things. I have nothing but the highest regard for Green Bay. And I mean that sincerely."

"Did some things happen there that may have ruffled the feathers from both sides? Yes. But once again the 16 years I spent there, you can't take it away. I wouldn't change it for anything in the world. They chose to go in a different direction. And that's OK. I chose to play again. And that's OK. I have family, I have friends who say, 'I can't picture you playing anywhere but Green Bay.'

"It's football. It's not life or death."

-- Copyright (c) 2009, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel/Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services

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