New York Jets quarterback Brett Favre has retired from the National Football League after 18 record-breaking seasons and one Super Bowl championship.
|Brett Favre makes his exit [GALLO/GETTY]
Favre's decision comes nearly one year after he retired from the Green Bay Packers.
The steely 39-year-old, who won the Super Bowl in the 1996-97 season with the Packers, ultimately reconsidered and returned for a one-year stint with the Jets.
Jets chairman and CEO Woody Johnson said Favre informed him of his decision during an "all-encompassing" telephone conversation Wednesday morning.
"We talked about how difficult this was for a guy that had been with one team for so long, to come into a totally different environment, different system, coaches and players," Johnson said.
The Jets opened the season with an 8-3 record amid hopes of a possible Super Bowl appearance but they lost four of their last five games to stumble out of a post-season berth.
Johnson said he did not believe Favre, who threw nine interceptions during New York's five-game collapse, would once again get the itch to play and resurface with the Jets or another club.
"He knows what the New York Jets are all about," said Johnson.
"He also knows what his own limitations are better than anybody."
Favre leaves with a host of NFL records, including career touchdown passes (464), yards passing (65,127) and completions (5,720).
The 10-times Pro Bowler opened his career with the Atlanta Falcons in 1991 before moving to the Packers the following season and embarking on one of the NFL's all-time great careers.
After calling it quits a year ago, Favre's decision to return just months later triggered a nasty falling out with the Packers.
|Favre made his name at the Green Bay Packers [GALLO/GETTY]
The Jets made a risky move to hire Favre and release quarterback Chad Pennington, who found a home in Miami and led the Dolphins to the playoffs following a 1-15 season in 2007.
"We were hoping to get one good year out of Brett Favre," said Johnson.
"We picked him based on him giving us the best chance to win last season.
"We were disappointed not to have made the Super Bowl but we did some very good things... For the first 11 games, it looked pretty good."
After the late-season nosedive, the Jets fired head coach Eric Mangini and hired Baltimore Ravens defensive coordinator Rex Ryan to replace him.
"When we acquired Brett, we knew we would get everything he had," said Jets general manager Mike Tannenbaum.
"He took the time to mentor younger players and his competitiveness and enthusiasm at practice and during games was contagious.
"I spoke with him this morning and told him that he will be a friend of the Jets for years to come."