With Favre a free agent, Vikings will weigh their interest in veteran QB

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. -- Brett Favre says he's retired, but Minnesota Vikings coach Brad Childress acknowledged Friday that it's likely the team will at least assess its interest in the record-setting quarterback later in the offseason.

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Childress declined to directly answer a question about whether he has recently spoken with Favre. The coach said he has been too busy with the NFL draft and the Vikings' rookie minicamp.

Favre asked for and received his release from the New York Jets earlier this week. Favre, 39, left his future open with the disclaimer "at this time" in a statement affirming his retirement.

The Green Bay Packers filed tampering charges against the NFC North rival Vikings last summer, alleging inappropriate contact with Favre while he was waffling again on his retirement. The league dismissed the case.

Asked whether the Vikings have discussed the possibility of pursuing Favre now that he's a free agent, Childress said no.

"We haven't. It doesn't mean we won't," Childress said. "We talk about everything, from what's going on in the United States on the front page today. ... So, yeah, I'm sure we'll talk about that."

After watching Favre's unretirement controversy and subsequent trade to the Jets become a major distraction in training camp last year, Packers coach Mike McCarthy doesn't want to be sucked into another potential offseason saga this time.

"If Brett wants to play football, he should play football," McCarthy said Friday. "And that's really my stance on it. I mean, if he still wants to play, he should take advantage of his opportunities."

McCarthy, who is leading the Packers' rookie orientation program this weekend, didn't want to comment on the Jets' decision to grant Favre his release -- earning a few laughs from reporters in the process.

2008 Statistics
Completions: 343

Attempts: 522

Passing Yards: 3,472

TD/INT: 22/22

"The what-ifs and the hypothetical stories, you know, I thought maybe you guys would give me a bye this year," McCarthy said. "I did such a good job last year."

For now, the Vikings are moving forward with Tarvaris Jackson, Sage Rosenfels and John David Booty at quarterback, a spot that has been unsettled since Childress took the job in 2006.

"I'm more focused on the guys that are here, participating in the offseason program," Childress said. "I'm more focused on our three quarterbacks right now -- Tarvaris and Sage and J.D. -- that are progressing through this program."

Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press

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