Brett Favre on Aaron Rodgers: 'My gut tells me he would rather sit out than play' for Packers
GREEN BAY - As the questions came pouring into Brett Favre's cell phone on draft night last Thursday, the first inclination something explosive had become public between the Green Bay Packers and his successor, the Hall of Fame quarterback decided to go straight to the source.
During the opening picks of the first round, Favre said he texted Aaron Rodgers.
"I didn't watch the draft," Favre told ESPN Wisconsin's "Wilde and Tausch" radio show Wednesday, "but I had everybody sending me messages leading up to the draft and within the first few picks of the first round. People kept sending me messages, 'Hey, Aaron is getting ready to be traded.' And I'm thinking, 'Yeah, you're crazy. What's going on?' And I kept getting different people, 'What's Aaron going to do? Have you heard anything?' So without watching any TV or talking to anyone involved in the situation on either side, I just sent Aaron a message and said, 'Hey, am I going to see you playing for the Saints this year?' Just kind of joking.
"He sent back, 'Hey buddy, I don't believe that's going to happen.'"
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Favre, in a 45-minute interview with Wilde and Tausch, said he has not spoken with Rodgers since the draft. Their conversation that night concluded with Rodgers telling his predecessor they would "touch base" after his situation with the Packers is resolved, something that might not happen for some time.
Even though Favre emphasized he does not know the details of Rodgers' rift with the Packers that became public Thursday, he predicted an ominous ending. Favre went as far as to compare Rodgers' situation to Hall of Fame running back Barry Sanders' early retirement from the Detroit Lions. Sanders walked away from the Lions after his age-30 season in one of the most stunning retirements the sport has ever seen.
Favre said the Sanders situation "could be the scenario that plays out." He also said the "million-dollar question" is how Rodgers could possibly walk back the rift now that it has become public.
"I think I know Aaron fairly well, and honestly I just don't see him coming back and just saying, 'All right, let's bury the hatchet. Whatever caused the rift, I'm just going to come back and play because I love the guys, I love the Green Bay fans.' I assume that he does, but his rift isn't with the fans, nor the players. It's with the front office, you know. So would he just swallow his pride and come in? Maybe. But I don't see that happening.
"If there's not a trade, my gut tells me that he'd rather sit out than play. That's just my gut. There's no reason for me to say that other than that's just what my gut is telling me."
So far, the Packers have dug in their heels as deeply as the quarterback. General manager Brian Gutekunst, the target of Rodgers' ire, has steadfastly refused to listen to trade overtures. Twice this offseason, Gutekunst has been asked if there is any scenario he can envision trading Rodgers. Twice, he has said there is not.
"We are not going to trade Aaron Rodgers," Gutekunst said after last week's first round.
The Packers have tried wooing Rodgers back behind the scenes, negotiating a new contract this spring.
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Meanwhile, Favre acknowledged it would be difficult for Rodgers to sit a year at this point in his career, knowing how badly the quarterback would like to add another Super Bowl title to his legacy. But Favre said he doesn't put that past Rodgers.
"I'd like to see him win a Super Bowl in Green Bay, another one," Favre said. "But the thing is, life's too short. I want him to be happy. He's been there as long as I was there, and I know what that means, and he's put up unbelievable numbers. Win another Super Bowl, and then do what you want to do. Whether it's keep playing, play somewhere else, whatever. But win one more in Green Bay and go out the way you want to go out. You don't want to go out this way, whether it's sitting out or play somewhere else. I mean, a lot of people would love to see him sit out. I can name a lot. Everybody in the NFC would love to see him sit out or come to their team."
While Favre said he wants to see Rodgers win another Super Bowl in Green Bay, he acknowledged that appears to be unlikely at this point.
"It's going to be interesting what takes place here between now and the start of camp," Favre said, "right now I'm not very optimistic."
Buccaneers sign Greene
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