GREEN BAY, Wis. — Don’t expect Brett Favre to make an appearance of any kind at Lambeau Field this season.
Though Green Bay Packers president and CEO Mark Murphy stated on the team’s website in early July that “we would like to retire (Favre’s) number prior to his (Hall of Fame) induction” in 2016, it’s not likely going to happen within the next year.
“I don’t anticipate that,” Murphy said Tuesday when asked if Favre’s jersey could be retired during the 2013 season.
However, Murphy’s plans to bring Favre “back in the family” — as he told FOXSportsWisconsin.com in May — haven’t changed.
“First of all, we’re definitely going to retire his number,” Murphy said Tuesday. “I really feel strongly that he deserves it. What he accomplished as a player, what he meant to the organization; but the timing has to be right.”
When asked specifically how he’ll know when the timing is right, Murphy was uncertain.
“I think the more time passes, wounds heal,” Murphy said. “I can’t tell you exactly when the time might be right. I am optimistic that you’ll see it.”
Murphy again credited current Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers for presenting an award with Favre at the NFL Honors Show in February, describing it as a “really great first step” in bringing the three-time Most Valuable Player and his former team back together.
“I’ve been in touch with Favre off and on over a period of time,” Murphy said. “We want to be an NFL team where all our former players feel good about coming back and certainly he’s a big part of that because of what he meant to the organization.
“As a former player myself, I know it can be emotional. Usually your career doesn’t end the way you want it to, but I think as time goes on, he’ll look differently back on it.”
As news has continued circulating this offseason about the inevitable reunion of Favre and the Packers, some fans have shown their displeasure with that outcome. Many fans are still upset with the way Favre left Green Bay in 2008 and a year later wound up signing with the division-rival Minnesota Vikings.
The potential negative reaction from fans at Lambeau Field when Favre’s jersey is retired between now and 2016 seems to be one key reason for the delay.
“When you say ‘wounds heal,’ fans are a part of that,” Murphy said. “I think as time goes on, I think the number of people who might have problems with it will decline.”