Brett Favre asks Packers to release him
Retired quarterback Brett Favre informed the Green Bay Packers on Friday that he wants out of his contract so he can return to the NFL with another team.
The Packers said they would do "what's right" in response to Favre's request, which was first reported by ESPN.
"Brett earned and exercised the right to retire on his terms," the team's statement read.
"We wanted him to return and welcomed him back on more than one occasion. Brett's press conference and subsequent conversations in the following weeks illustrated his commitment to retirement. The finality of his decision to retire was accepted by the organization. At that point, the Green Bay Packers made the commitment to move forward with our football team."
ESPN reported that Favre's agent, James (Bus) Cook, sent a letter to the team on Friday asking that his client be released from the final three years of his deal because the Packers weren't receptive to Favre's desire to play again.
Favre, 38, is currently on the reserve-retired list after announcing on March 6 that he was walking away after a 17-year NFL career.
Favre, though, began hinting at a comeback almost immediately after retiring, and talk of his potential return picked up in earnest last week when ESPN reported that Favre told Packers coach Mike McCarthy he was feeling the "itch" to play again.
According to ESPN, Favre stated emphatically that he wanted to play again during a Tuesday conference call with Thompson, McCarthy and Cook.
'Part of Packers family'
The Packers haven't exactly welcomed Favre with open arms, leading to speculation about rising tension between the future hall of famer and the team.
The Packers statement on Friday said Favre now has the right to petition NFL commissioner Roger Goodell to be reinstated, at which point he would return to the team's active roster.
But the statement did not specify what the Packers would do after that, beyond doing "what's right and in the best interest of the team."
If the team has committed to moving forward without Favre, their options once he was reinstated would include trading him to another team or releasing him so he would be free to sign with the team of his choice.
"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. "Brett and [wife] Deanna will always be a part of the Packers family."
Green Bay has planned to use Aaron Rodgers, who has attempted just 59 passes since being drafted in 2005, as its starting quarterback next season.
With files from the Associated Press