Next move up to Packers: Brett Favre's agent
With Brett Favre potentially headed back to an even chillier reception than the below-zero conditions at his last game at Lambeau Field, the next step in the quarterback's plan to manoeuvre his way out of Green Bay is unclear.
Favre's agent, Bus Cook, told ESPN on Wednesday that he and Favre had "no definite plans to ask for reinstatement," and it was up to the Packers to decide what to do next.
"It's their move," Cook said.
Packers spokesman Jeff Blumb said Wednesday evening that the team had no response.
Meanwhile, Foxsports.com, citing an anonymous source, said the Packers have filed tampering charges with the NFL against the Minnesota Vikings, alleging "inappropriate dialogue" with offensive co-ordinator Darrell Bevell, a close friend of Favre and a former Packers assistant.
NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said the league had no comment on the report.
Packers general manager Ted Thompson declined comment on tampering rumours in an interview with the Associated Press on Saturday.
Favre currently is on the Packers' reserve/retired list.
To be reinstated, Favre must write a letter to NFL commissioner Roger Goodell.
Once that request is approved — a step considered a formality — the Packers would have to release Favre or place him on their active roster.
Favre attends ESPY Awards
Favre was in Los Angeles for Wednesday night's taping of the ESPY Awards.
Host Justin Timberlake zeroed in on Favre sitting in the audience with his wife, Deanna.
"What have you been up to lately? I haven't seen you anywhere," Timberlake said. "Just chillin'? Yeah, me too."
Later, Timberlake went into the seats to hug Favre's would-be successor Aaron Rodgers, the Packers' 2005 first-round draft choice.
Favre sheepishly looked down with a slight smile on his face as the crowd laughed.
Favre's growing rift with the Packers could lead to a few awkward moments this weekend.
Favre is scheduled to present former teammate Frank Winters at the Green Bay Packers Hall of Fame induction banquet at Lambeau Field on Saturday night.
Winters, former Packers defensive tackle Gilbert Brown and video director Al Treml will be enshrined in the Packers Hall of Fame.
Should Favre keep his commitment to Winters, his close friend and former centre, his return to Lambeau will come a little more than a week after he formally asked to be released from his contract — and only days after he expressed his distrust of Packers management, insisting in an interview with Fox News on Monday that the team pressured him into making his retirement decision.
Favre could see some of the same folks he criticized in his trip back to the place where he played for 16 seasons.
He also might run into Packers offensive line coach James Campen, a former teammate who was dragged into the middle of the controversy this week.
'They want to move on'
In an unaired portion of Favre's interview with On the Record With Greta Van Susteren, Favre apparently said Campen recently made an unexpected visit to his home in Mississippi and said he had "an answer" for Favre regarding his desire to unretire.
"He says, 'You know, I know they told you they're moving on and playing there's not an option,'" Favre said, according to a full transcript of the interview obtained by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
"Playing here in Green Bay is not an option, which that's what they want. They want to move on.
"But I'm telling you, if you reinstate or you force their hand, back them in a corner, they feel like they have no other option, they're going to accept you back.
"And he said, 'Just telling you.' And I said, 'OK.'"
The website for Van Susteren's show said more Favre clips could be aired Wednesday night, and the full interview eventually would be posted online.
Campen in 'tough spot'
In an interview with the Associated Press on Saturday, two days before Favre made his comments about Campen, Packers head coach Mike McCarthy chastized the Favre camp for putting Campen in a "tough spot."
Cook did not immediately return a telephone message left by the Associated Press.
McCarthy said the Packers told Campen to visit Favre as a friend, not on behalf of the team, once they heard Favre was having second thoughts about retirement earlier in the off-season.
McCarthy said it was Favre and his representatives, not the team, who turned Campen into an "intermediary" between Favre and the front office.
"I think he's totally wrongly been illustrated in this," McCarthy said. "Ted would not even talk to Campen about this.
"He said, 'Hey, your personal relationship with Brett Favre is bigger than this, so don't ever put yourself in that position.' James was put in a tough spot; he was put in a situation that was purely personal."
While Favre's comment isn't likely to get Campen fired, it certainly didn't do his old buddy any favours.
McCarthy said Saturday that Campen would not be available for interviews.
Favre fan rally fizzles
Meanwhile, members of the Packers' management team could face a few awkward moments of their own next week when the Packers hold their annual shareholders meeting at Lambeau Field on July 24.
A movement to rally fan support for Favre has fizzled so far.
A rally in Green Bay drew fewer than 200 fans Sunday, and Monday's rally in the Milwaukee suburbs drew only 30, despite widespread local media attention.
But shareholders supporting Favre could call attention to the issue.
Shareholders aren't expected to have a chance to ask questions during the meeting.
But Packers president and chief executive officer Mark Murphy and Thompson will be present to mingle with them and answer questions afterward, along with other members of the Packers staff.