Former Green Bay Packers quarterback Brett Favre told ESPN's Rob Demovsky on July 7 his departure from the team seven years ago "was just hard." The Packers will induct Favre into their Hall of Fame on July 18.
Brett Favre has spoken: His departure from the Green Bay Packers was anything but easy.
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This was what Favre told ESPN Green Bay Packers reporter Rob Demovsky in an exclusive phone interview on July 7, just 11 days before his induction into the team's Hall of Fame. Favre discussed the thoughts which ran through his mind on Aug. 5, 2008, his last day with the team:
"I think at some point what crossed my mind was, 'How did it ever get to this point? To be arguably one of the most successful players in Packers history, and I would think (a player who was) well-received by the fans, especially up to that point, you're just thinking, 'How did it get to this point?'
"Of course, we've talked about that, and I take my share of the blame as well, but it was just hard. It was a surreal feeling."
Speculation runs rampant Favre's final meetings with Packers head coach Mike McCarthy and general manager Ted Thompson were heated.
Favre told Demovsky they were actually "cordial." Nonetheless, the prevailing mood back then made it apparent he won't be playing for the Packers again:
"It was for the most part cordial. It was like, 'What do we do?' That was the million-dollar question, I guess. I got a sense that there wasn't many options on my part. It was frustrating, and I know it was frustrating for them as well.
"When I left, it was like, I don't know if we're any closer than where we need to be when I got there that morning. Emotions were running high, but all in all I think it was pretty cordial, considering the circumstances."
Demovsky reveals Favre wanted either to be released or traded to an NFC North rival, particularly the Minnesota Vikings. The Packers turned him down, trading him to the New York Jets instead a day later.
"I felt like I wasn't good enough to play there (in Green Bay) but was good enough to not play against them and that bothered me," Favre told ESPN on Tuesday.
Despite the fallout with the Packers, Favre told Demovsky his relationship with both McCarthy and Thompson have improved.
As a matter of fact, Favre said he and Thompson regularly kept in touch even during his playing days with the Jets and Vikings. As for McCarthy, Favre told ESPN they resumed communicating after he retired for the final time in 2010:
"Every time I played against Ted or when I was with the Jets and threw six touchdown passes against the Cardinals, which was the only time in my career I ever did that, Ted sent me a message.
"It was always, 'Nice job. Congratulations. Amazing game.' The day that I left my meeting with Ted, he has a way of killing you with kindness. He doesn't say a lot, but I've known Ted ever since I got to Green Bay and always got along with him.
"I can't say that things were mended (at that point), but I responded to texts in a polite way myself.
"And Mike, there came a point where he and I started exchanging messages, I think it was after I got done playing."
With these, Favre told ESPN Milwaukee (via PackersNews.com's Ryan Wood) on July 7 his relationship with the Packers is much better than it was when he left seven years ago:
"The great thing is that we've moved beyond that, and things are, in fact, way better than I could've ever dreamed with the fans and the organization. I think we all can agree on that, and we have to look no further than in an hour-and-a-half, tickets were sold out for his Hall of Fame ceremony.
"I mean, my goodness, are you kidding me?
"I feel much better now because things are in a much better place, and I, like most people, probably questioned if we would ever get to that point. Not only have we gotten to that point, but we've gotten there times 100."
When the tickets for his July 18 induction sold out very quickly he told ESPN Milwaukee he felt overwhelmed:
"When the tickets sold out in an hour-and-a-half, I have to admit, goosebumps. My chest stuck out. I could not have felt more proud of being a Packer at that point and what I'd done than at any point in my career."
Favre also clarified to Demovsky his relationship with present Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers is good.
Favre confirmed this to ESPN Milwaukee on Tuesday:
"People may think, 'Was it animosity toward Aaron Rodgers?' No, there wasn't. I like Aaron. Aaron and I get along fine. I knew at some point he had to play. I knew that he had tremendous potential. All those things have come true, and I don't feel like, 'Well, about me?'
"My body of work speaks for itself. I'm a different player than he is. He's a tremendous player and a great leader, and he's doing exactly what I thought he would do.
"When people try to create a wedge either with me or a player, or me and the organization, there isn't one. Life goes on. I understand that, and I'm okay with that. But again, what I did speaks for itself."
The 45-year-old Favre threw for 71,838 yards, 508 touchdowns and 336 interceptions on an 86.0 passer rating in 302 career regular-season games for the Atlanta Falcons, Green Bay Packers, New York Jets and Minnesota Vikings, per ESPN stats.
His full interview with ESPN Milwaukee can be listened to here.
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