Packers accusing Vikings of 'illegal contact' with Favre

While the next step in Brett Favre's plan to return to the field remains unclear, the latest twist in the saga surrounding the future Hall of Fame quarterback is that the Green Bay Packers are serious about keeping him away from NFC North rivals.

The Packers have filed tampering charges with the NFL against the Minnesota Vikings for what they deem to be "illegal contact" with Favre, reports NFL Network's Adam Schefter.

A person familiar with the Packers' complaint told The Associated Press Wednesday night that Packers officials have expressed their belief that interest from the Vikings was driving Favre's sudden change of heart about playing football in 2008.

"They feel like Favre had something (in place), and that's why he was so anxious to get his release all of a sudden," said the person , who requested anonymity because of the sensitivity of the subject.

The person said the league already has reviewed evidence provided by the Packers, and team officials believe a league examination of telephone records would indicate more than "normal contact" between Favre and Vikings offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell, a former Green Bay assistant. According to the person, Packers officials also believe the contact began before Favre and his agent, Bus Cook, formally asked the Packers to release him.

NFL spokesman Greg Aiello told The Associated Press on Wednesday that the league had no comment on the report. Packers general manager Ted Thompson also declined comment on tampering rumors in an interview with The AP on Saturday.

It's commonly known that Favre has a close relationship with Bevell, who spent five seasons on the Green Bay staff, including the last three as quarterbacks coach.

If Favre does plan on returning to the field this season, it appears he's willing to take his time in doing so. He has publicly stated his intentions to play this season and has requested his release from the Packers, but has yet to file for reinstatement with the league.

"There's no set deadline for us to file for reinstatement," Favre's agent, James "Bus" Cook, told Schefter during a brief telephone conversation Wednesday. "We have no definitive plans to file those papers. We have until the sixth week of the season to do that. That's not to say we wouldn't do it sooner. But right now we have no timeline to file any papers."

Reached Wednesday evening, Packers spokesman Jeff Blumb indicated to The AP that no response was forthcoming from the team.

The Packers placed Favre on the reserve/retired list on April 25, meaning that the future Hall of Famer no longer counted against the team's 80-player roster. To be reinstated off that list, Favre would have to send written notification to the Packers and the NFL of his intentions to play.

Once the league is notified, the Packers would have approximately 24 hours to make a decision to either release Favre or place him on the active roster.

The Associated Press contributed to this report

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