The Brett Favre saga continues, but could be coming to an end.
Sources told FOXSports.com that Favre has told teammates that he will not come back for his 20th season, citing wear and tear on his body. The Minneapolis Star-Tribune reported that Favre told Vikings officials a similar message Monday night. But the team is still holding out hope that Favre will again change his mind, and considering his history, it's entirely possible.
However, this is the strongest indication yet that the legendary quarterback could, in fact, retire for good.
Minnesota players and coaches have long been convinced that Favre would come back and play this season after last year's magical run that took the Vikings to within one game of the Super Bowl, falling to the New Orleans Saints in overtime, 31-28, in the NFC Championship game.
Favre, who had surgery on his left ankle in May, has been working out in Hattiesburg, Miss., and was recently visited by Vikings head coach Brad Childress just a few weeks ago so the two could get on the same page. It now appears the only page Favre will be on is in the history books.
When Favre, who turns 41 in October, officially retires, he will go down as one of the greatest quarterbacks to ever play. Favre holds numerous NFL records, including most career touchdown passes, most career passing yards, most career pass completions and most career victories as a starting quarterback.
But probably the most remarkable of all, Favre started a record 285 consecutive games during the regular season, an amazing feat for any player, let alone a quarterback, dating back to Sept. 27, 1992. To give you an idea of just how astounding that is, only one other active quarterback, Payton Manning, has more than 100 consecutive starts. And during that time, 212 other quarterbacks have started in the NFL.
Favre, who played his college ball at Southern Mississippi, was drafted in the second round by the Atlanta Falcons in 1991. Then-Atlanta coach Jerry Glanville wasn't pleased the Falcons picked Favre and as a result, he didn't see much action. In fact, his first NFL pass was intercepted and returned for a touchdown. He only attempted five passes that season, completed none and had two interceptions.
Green Bay general manager Ron Wolf traded a first-round pick to the Falcons the following season to acquire Favre, setting in motion one of the league's great love affairs, as Favre played the next 16 seasons with the Packers, leading them to seven division championships, four NFC Championships and two Super Bowls, winning Super Bowl XXXI, 35-21, over the New England Patriots. He also won three consecutive MVP awards from 1995-97.
But like a lot of love affairs these days, the separation wasn't pretty.
Favre tearfully announced his retirement in March of 2008, but indicated at the time that he thought he could still play, but didn't know if he wanted to.
Just four months after the announcement, Favre contacted the Packers in July, indicating he wanted to play again. While the Packers weren't thrilled with the news, they also didn't want to grant Favre his unconditional release. After his reinstatement to the league, Favre and the Packers agreed to part ways, making the divorce official when he was traded to the New York Jets in August.
Favre and the Jets got off to a great start, winning eight of their first 11 games, highlighted a Favre-best six touchdown passes in a Week 4 win over Arizona. However, the Jets lost four of their final five games, with Favre throwing eight interceptions and only two touchdown passes in those games as New York failed to make the playoffs. Favre, who finished with 22 touchdown passes and 22 interceptions, had a torn biceps tendon in his right shoulder and again announced his retirement.
Which set the stage for yet another astonishing return last August. After surgery to repair his torn bicep, the now almost-comical "will he or won't he play again" saga dominated the sports world for months. After announcing on July 28th that he would remain retired, Favre changed his mind and signed with the Vikings on Aug. 18.
And while the Vikings were loaded with talent, the 2009 season played out like a script even Hollywood might not have written, given its improbability. Favre, at age 40, had one of the best statistical years of his career, throwing for 4,202 yards and 22 touchdown passes with a career-low seven interceptions in leading the Vikings to a 12-4 regular season record and the NFC North title.
The Vikings defeated the Dallas Cowboys in their first playoff game, with Favre throwing four touchdown passes and no interceptions, becoming the first quarterback to ever win a playoff game at the age of 40.
But the clock struck midnight in Favre's fairytale season, as the Vikings fell in OT to the Saints in the NFC Championship game, with Farve's final throw ending in an interception.
After the heartbreaking loss, there were initial reports that Favre would retire. But we've been here before and the "Favre Watch'' was officially on again.
So after off-season surgery on the ankle, Favre again began working out in Hattiesburg and by all indications, most people, including the Vikings, thought he'd return.
But just as his returns have been a surprise, so now, might Brett Lorenzo Favre's departure.
Sources: Favre tells teammate he's not coming back - NFL News - FOX Sports on MSN