GREEN BAY, Wis. -- The Green Bay Packers won't be keeping Brett Favre's locker as a shrine to their legendary quarterback. In fact, they're not keeping it at all.
One day after the future of Favre's former dressing space became a matter of national debate, the team said it will take the locker out following the team's mandatory minicamp in June and give it to Favre.
A new cherry wood replacement locker will then be installed at the entrance of the locker room in time for training camp at the end of July.
"Obviously, I didn't realize it was going to get this kind of attention," Packers general manager Ted Thompson told the Wisconsin State Journal on Thursday afternoon. "We talked to Brett and (his wife) Deanna several weeks ago, and we thought that anybody who played 16 years here as well as he did might want his own locker. I think it makes it a little easier, quite frankly, for the next guy to go into there."
Thompson said the team never planned on encasing the locker in glass and keeping it in the locker room. He said he came up with the gift idea while talking with coach Mike McCarthy shortly after Favre's decision to retire in early March.
"I was just sitting here with Mike and said, 'You know what we ought to do ...' I mean, you can't really put anybody in his locker," Thompson said.
Asked why he or McCarthy, who was asked specifically about Favre's locker at the NFL Spring Meeting in late March and at the rookie orientation camp in early May, didn't make the plans known sooner, Thompson replied, "There was no deep dark secret. I probably messed the timing up. I'm sorry if I caused any angst for anyone.
"Obviously the story sort of got the better of us and took on a life of its own."
That it did. Even though the topic had been broached before locally, the national media seized upon it earlier this week.
"I think it's been totally blown out of proportion," McCarthy said after practice Thursday. "It's been discussed with Brett, and we can talk about it at a later date, but its really a construction concern (that) is the reason why the locker hasn't been taken out of there. So there's nothing more to it.
McCarthy said Thompson told the board of directors about the plans Wednesday and received a standing ovation. It's up to Favre what he wants to do with the locker after the team removes it, since it could make for an extremely popular exhibit at the PackersHall of Fame should Favre not want it in his rec room.
When the media was allowed into the locker room after Thursday's organized team activity practice, the "FAVRE" nameplate had been replaced with a generic "PACKERS" one.
"We're doing that just because you guys seem to have so much angst about it," Thompson said. "It's still Brett Favre's locker in there, but we switched the nameplate."
As for new starting quarterback Aaron Rodgers, the laid-back Californian took all the hullabaloo in stride.
"I have a lot of things to worry about besides whether they keep the locker or not," Rodgers said. "I mean, it's not even on my mind. I got to try to figure out a way to lead this team on my mind -- workouts, OTAs -- so Im not worried about that at all."
Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press