NEW YORK (AFP) — Brett Favre has asked the Green Bay Packers to release his rights so the retired National Football League quarterback can make a comeback with another team, US sports television network ESPN reported.
Favre retired after last season, when he guided the Packers within a game of the Super Bowl and said his farewells after a historic American football career that included a Super Bowl triumph with the Packers in 1997.
The 38-year-old signal caller who holds the NFL record for career touchdown passes and consecutive starts by a quarterback had reportedly showed interest in a comeback in recent weeks, including workouts near his Mississippi home.
But the Packers had already started making personnel moves without Favre in the plans and executives reportedly wanted to put off any discussion about a return by Favre until after key leaders had completed vacations.
Favre asked his agent to send a letter to the Packers seeking his release three days after Green Bay club executives were told by Favre that he wanted to play in the upcoming season, a reversal of his March decision to retire.
ESPN reported that neither Packers general manager Ted Thompson nor coach Mike McCarthy were enthusiastic about Favre returning, prompting Favre's decision to seek his release and test his chances with other NFL clubs.
The Packers issued a statement Friday that gave no clear indication how the club would respond if Favre wanted to return in 2008, mindful of pre-season training camp set to start later this month.
"Brett earned and exercised the right to retire on his terms," the Packers' statement read. "We wanted him to return and welcomed him back on more than one occasion."
The Packers noted that should Favre write a letter to NFL commissioner Roger Goodell seeking reinstatement to the Packers' active roster, the club would have to comply or release Favre.
"If that were to occur, he would become an active member of the Green Bay Packers. As always, the Packers will do what's right and in the best interest of the team," the statement read.
Favre, who has three years worth 39 million dollars remaining on his NFL contract should he return, does not want to be traded because he wants the freedom of choice on what team he would join.
The Packers, however, are unlikely to want to lose such an asset without compensation, even if Favre was among the most beloved players to wear the green and gold with Green Bay's faithful supporters.
"As with all Packers greats, Brett's legacy will always be celebrated by our fans and the organization, regardless of any change in his personal intentions," the statement read.
Favre is the NFL's all-time leader with 442 touchdown tosses, 5,377 completions, 8,758 attempts and 61,555 yards.