Brett Favre reinstated to NFL

<div class="meta image-caption"><div class="origin-logo origin-image none"><span>none</span></div><span class="caption-text">  Chicago Bulls&#39; Michael Jordan, 30, announces his retirement from professional basketball at the Berto Center in Deerfield, Ill., Wednesday morning, Oct. 6, 1993. He would go on to return to the NBA, manage the Washington Wizards, and then officially retire once more in 2003.  &#40;AP Photo&#47;Mike Fisher&#41; </span></div>
August 3, 2008 8:45:19 PM PDT
Brett Favre is back. It remains to be seen whether he'll still be the leader of the Pack.The Green Bay 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 once he reports to Packers camp Monday, Aaron Rodgers says he's ready for a potential competition with Favre after serving as his backup for three seasons.

"Well, there comes time when (my) mentor and I get to compete, and I guess that's what's going to happen," Rodgers said after a scrimmage Sunday night. "If that's what happens, then I'm going to give it my best shot and leave the rest up to coach."

Packers coach Mike McCarthy said he hasn't decided what direction his quarterback situation will take. Given Favre's track record of waffling on his football future, McCarthy first wants to talk to Favre on Monday before he makes any decision on opening the job up to competition.

"There have been no promises," McCarthy said. "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."

The NFL announced Sunday that Favre will be reinstated and added to the Packers' active roster on Monday. Commissioner Roger Goodell had held off on granting Favre's request for reinstatement for nearly a week, hoping Favre and the team could resolve their standoff.

"Although we built this year around the assumption that Brett meant what he said about retiring, Brett is coming back," said team president and CEO Mark Murphy. "We will welcome him back and turn this situation to our advantage."

A private plane carrying Favre, wife Deanna and agent James "Bus" Cook arrived in Green Bay shortly after 8 p.m. EDT Sunday night. Favre exited the plane and waved to a crowd of a few hundred fans gathered at the airport - in a severe lightning storm, no less - before driving off in an SUV.

The reinstatement will become effective at 1 p.m. EDT Monday, when Favre will be added to the Packers' active roster. By reinstating Favre, Goodell is following through on a recent promise to force action.

"I'm happy," veteran receiver Donald Driver said. "I'm excited. It's good to have him back in the house."

Earlier this week, the team offered Favre a long-term, multimillion-dollar marketing agreement that likely would have kept him retired. But Favre's decision to report to camp makes such an agreement far less likely.

A trade remains a possibility.

"Frankly, Brett's change of mind put us in a very difficult spot," Murphy said in a statement released by the team. "We now will revise many actions and assumptions about our long-term future, all predicated on Brett's decision last March to retire.

"As a result of his decision, we invested considerably in a new and different future without Brett and we were obviously moving in that direction. That's why this wasn't easy. Having crossed the Rubicon once when Brett decided to retire, it's very difficult to reorient our plans and cross it again in the opposite direction - but wrch but has been having second thoughts. Team officials have insisted in recent weeks that they are moving on with Rodgers, though, causing tensions to rise between Favre and the team.

Team officials publicly have ruled out releasing Favre, fearing he would immediately sign with division rival Minnesota.

McCarthy has said the Packers had a plan in place should Favre report to camp. He first would have to pass a physical exam and a conditioning test, then would likely be limited to individual drills.

Goodell told the NFL Network on Saturday he thinks the situation has lingered long enough.

"I think we have to force it," Goodell said. "I think it's come to the point where there need to be some decisions made on behalf of the Packers, on behalf of Brett, on behalf of all the fans."


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