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Favre, McCarthy meet late into the night in Green Bay

GREEN BAY, Wis. -- In a meeting with Brett Favre that ran late into Monday night, Green Bay Packers coach Mike McCarthy likely tried to cut through more than a month's worth of drama to figure out whether Favre really was 100 percent committed to playing again.

Favre's answers will go a long way toward formulating McCarthy's approach to the Packers' quarterback position this season, now that Favre officially has been reinstated and restored to the team's active roster.

Favre could be given a chance to compete for the starting job. But that wasn't assured going into the meeting.

"There have been no promises," McCarthy said Sunday night, the most recent comment by a team official on Favre's situation. "Once again, there has been indecision throughout Brett's path back here to Green Bay. It's important for us to sit down and communicate. There are some things we need to go through."

And that took more time than expected.

McCarthy had scheduled a news conference for 9:15 p.m. ET Monday to talk about his plans for Favre. But the news conference was rescheduled for sometime Tuesday because McCarthy was still meeting with Favre.

Both Favre and McCarthy finally drove out a back gate at Lambeau at 12:22 a.m. ET Tuesday. Favre waved to a small crowd of fans and media from his dark red SUV, and McCarthy followed immediately behind him in a black SUV.

Favre could be on the practice field as early as Tuesday's 3 p.m. ET practice, perhaps with a chance to win his old job back. He could still back down and choose not to play. Or he could be traded, now that the Minnesota Vikings have been cleared of tampering charges.

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell ruled Monday that he found no violations of league policy in the Packers' tampering complaint against Minnesota Vikings. And Minnesota coach Brad Childress denied reports that the Vikings have talked to the Packers about a potential trade for Favre.

"We haven't had any contact" with the Packers, Childress said.

Vikings coaches apparently did have contact with Favre in the offseason, but Goodell found that their conversations didn't violate league tampering rules. In a statement, Goodell said, "None of those conversations suggest that Favre was soliciting a job or that other teams were soliciting his services."

In a statement, the Packers said they consider the matter closed.

"Based on the information that we had, the Packers thought it was appropriate to bring this matter to the league's attention," the team said. "We respect the commissioner's investigation of this matter and we now consider it closed."

Vikings officials said they respected the "thoroughness" of the investigation.

"We provided the league with all information requested so they could be comprehensive in their decision making," the Vikings said in a statement. "Our focus has been, and continues to be, on our football team and having a successful season."

After being added to the active roster Monday, Favre was to take a physical examination and conditioning test.

The Packers reluctantly embraced Favre's forced return to the football field Sunday, after failing to come to a financial agreement that would manage to make Favre happy while staying retired.

And while it's not yet clear what role Favre will play for the Packers, current quarterback Aaron Rodgers says he's ready for a potential competition with Favre after serving as his backup for three seasons.

"I know if they do open it up to competition, not a lot of people give me a chance, but I believe in myself and I'm going to be the best I can be and let coach decide from there," Rodgers said Sunday night.

As the Favre saga continues to take unexpected twists and turns, the Packers apparently are turning to an expert in crisis management: Former White House press secretary Ari Fleischer.

Fleischer gave a lecture to Packers players last week about media relations -- an event that was scheduled before Favre got the so-called "itch" to play again -- but the team apparently thought highly enough of Fleischer's advice that they decided to keep him around.

"Can't you tell?" McCarthy quipped Sunday night, after he was asked about a report that the Packers were employing Fleischer for one month as a consultant.

"I don't know the specifics," McCarthy said. "If he is, I might go see him when I'm done here."

Since leaving the White House, Fleischer has gone on to become president of Ari Fleischer Sports Communications, a joint venture with IMG. Last week, Fleischer told The Associated Press that he discussed the Favre situation with Packers players.

"Obviously, it's a topic, and it wasn't ignored," Fleischer said.

Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved

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