Green Bay Packers quarterback Brett Favre has decided to retire from the NFL after 17 seasons.
|Brett Favre ends his career with plenty |
of records [GALLO/GETTY]
Reports have suggested that the three-time NFL MVP informed the team within the last few days, while others have stated that Favre's agent believed the quarterback told coach Mike McCarthy of his decision.
Favre, who holds most of the NFL's passing records and won the 1996 Super Bowl, has taken weeks and even months to make his decision after recent seasons, with Cheeseheads hanging on his every word.
But unlike the final game of the 2006 season, when Favre provided a cliffhanger by getting choked up in a television interview as he walked off the field in Chicago, only to return once again, nearly everyone assumed he would be back this time. They were wrong.
Only two years removed from perhaps his worst season, Favre had a resurgence in 2007, breaking several career records, including Dan Marino's career mark for career touchdown passes.
He powered the Packers to an NFC North title and a 13-3 regular-season record and earned his ninth Pro Bowl spot.
Surrounded by an underrated group of wide receivers who proved hard to tackle after the catch, Favre had a career-high completion percentage of 66.5.
He threw for 4,155 yards, 28 touchdowns and only 15 interceptions.
It was a remarkable turnaround from 2005, Favre's final season under former head coach Mike Sherman, when he threw a career-worst 29 interceptions as the Packers went 4-12.
Given Favre's career resurgence, it was widely assumed that he was leaning toward returning for the 2008 season.
He even said as much just before the Packers' Jan. 12 divisional playoff game against Seattle, telling his hometown newspaper that he wasn't approaching the game as if it would be his last and was more optimistic than in years past about returning.
"For the first time in three years, I haven't thought this could be my last game,'' Favre told the Biloxi (Mississippi) Sun Herald.
"I would like to continue longer.''
Those comments sent premature shock waves across the state, all the way up to the governor's office, where the political version of a false start was committed.
"Like all Packer fans, I am thrilled that Brett Favre will return to action next year for the green and gold,'' Governor Jim Doyle said in a statement.
"Brett Favre's tremendous work ethic and willingness to go out and play hard every day represent the true spirit of Wisconsin. I am hopeful that with this announcement behind us, Brett Favre and the Green Bay Packers can focus on the task at hand: defeating the Seattle Seahawks.''