Favre expected to submit letter of reinstatement to NFL

During a telephone conversation Thursday with Green Bay general manager Ted Thompson, quarterback Brett Favre conveyed he is planning to return to the Packers and report to training camp this weekend.

If he follows through on his plans, Favre is expected to fax a letter seeking reinstatement to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell.

However, just because Favre is now planning to return to the Packers, doesn't mean the saga is over. This is a story that has had so many twists and turns, it is conceivable it could change again. It has repeatedly in the more than four months since Favre announced his retirement.

At any point this summer, with the situation as tenuous as it is, Favre still could decide to walk away from the game again. As of 6 p.m. ET on Saturday, Favre had yet to file for reinstatement with the league with players scheduled to report to training camp Sunday. If Favre reports, Green Bay could decide to trade him to one of the teams it spoke with this week.

The two teams that have been most receptive to listening to the Packers in their trade discussions for Favre are the New York Jets and Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Jets even have received permission to speak with Favre, but had not done so as of Friday afternoon.

Even if the Packers were to trade Favre to either one of those teams, he would not be obligated to report; think back to when Denver traded quarterback Jake Plummer to the Buccaneers. Plummer decline to report, the Buccaneers placed him on the reserve/did not report list, and Plummer eventually repaid the Buccaneers $3.5 million worth of bonus money.

If Favre were traded and before he were to report to another team, he would have to give his blessing to a deal with the Jets, Buccaneers or anyone else. To date, he has not. Either team, the Jets or Buccaneers, would have to recruit Favre and convince him why their city was right for him. None of this happened yet, though discussions could heat up shortly.

For now, Favre is planning to go back to the Packers, with the intention of spending this season with them.

There is plenty of smoothing over to be done, however that process already has kicked off. Favre and Thompson's conversation was said to be cordial and professional, and the Packers recognize that they are a better team with their iconic quarterback on their roster.

Thompson even said during Thursday's annual shareholder's meeting that families have disagreements, but they overcome them. Now the Packers and Favre are trying to do the same.

Favre will try to return to the life that he has known and loved in Green Bay. He never sold his house in Green Bay, never removed the furniture from the house, never moved his cars from the area, and will be able to step back into the life he once knew.

But there will be an adjustment on the football field. The Packers had appointed Aaron Rodgers as their starting quarterback and Favre will have to beat him out this summer, an idea once as unthinkable as Favre being traded. With a base salary of $12 million, Favre could become the most expensive backup in the history of football.

And it's not as if Favre is coming off a disappointing season. Last season, Favre threw 28 touchdowns, 15 interceptions, was voted as a Pro Bowl starter, received NFL MVP votes and was the Packers Team MVP. At 38, Favre has shown few, if any, signs of slipping.

Then there is this interesting subplot. Favre has started a record 253 straight games, 275 including the playoffs -- a streak that could be in jeopardy. Packers coach Mike McCarthy soon could be faced with the situation of making the decision that could snap one of football's most prestigious and illustrious records.

But those are decisions for another day. For today, a more notable decision has been made. Just as Kobe Bryant decided to return to the Los Angeles Lakers last year when many thought he wouldn't, Favre is heading back to the hallowed place many thought he wouldn't.

Bottom line, which has become more and more obvious in recent weeks:

Favre isn't ready to pack it in.

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