NEENAH, Wis. — It won’t be long until Brett Favre and the Green Bay Packers are officially reunited in some way.
Nearly five years after the Packers traded a disgruntled Favre to the New York Jets, the franchise is getting ready to reach back out to the now-retired quarterback.
“We want to have (Favre) back in the family,” Packers president and CEO Mark Murphy told FOXSportsWisconsin.com during the team’s eighth-annual Tailgate Tour.
The first sign of goodwill between Favre and the team he led for 15 seasons came in February, when the 43-year-old and his successor in Green Bay, Aaron Rodgers, presented together during the NFL Honors show.
“I thought he and Aaron jointly presenting the Comeback Player of the Year Award was a great first step,” Murphy said. “We’re hopeful to have (Favre) back in the fold and get him back involved in the organization soon.”
In March 2008, Favre retired after years of speculation that he might do so. The Packers drafted Rodgers in the first round three years earlier and were ready to see how the team would fare with a different quarterback under center for the first time since 1992. So, when Favre wanted to un-retire and regain his starting quarterback job, the Packers refused and eventually traded him after attempting to find other ways to appease the three-time NFL MVP.
The relationship between Favre and the Packers — as well as between Favre and Rodgers — had been icy until the two former MVPs surprisingly shook hands and laughed together on the stage in February.
“I thought it was good timing to just let the fans know, to let Brett know, let’s move forward,” Rodgers said on his Wisconsin radio show in February. “Let’s heal things up and move forward.”
Last year, Murphy commented that the team would like to retire Favre’s jersey in the coming years. However, at that time, Favre had no real connection with the Packers.
Now that two years have passed since Favre put on an NFL uniform (that uniform being the purple and gold one worn by Green Bay’s division rival in Minnesota), the Packers are inching closer to hanging up No. 4 inside Lambeau Field.
“It’s got to be the right time for him and us,” Murphy said. “That (retiring Favre’s jersey soon) will happen.”
Murphy, who is hosting the Tailgate Tour for the sixth time, wants Favre to join him someday on the coach bus that travels throughout Wisconsin making stops at various locations.
“I’d love to see that,” Murphy said. “I think he’d love it and it’d be great for the community.”
The Packers Tailgate Tour features three current players and three retired players. This year, the retired players who made the trip are all former teammates of Favre’s: Frank Winters, Aaron Taylor and Santana Dotson.