GREEN BAY, Wis. — Three years and counting. Between now and the presumed Hall of Fame induction of Brett Favre in 2016, the Green Bay Packers will retire their former quarterback’s No. 4 jersey at Lambeau Field.
Now, Murphy has taken his commitment a step further in getting Favre’s jersey retired in Green Bay sooner than later.
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“I am often asked questions about Brett Favre, and specifically whether we will retire his number,” Murphy wrote Saturday on the team’s official website. “Also, there has been quite a bit of speculation in the media about this topic.
“We do want to bring Brett back into the fold, and plan on retiring his number. He deserves to have his number retired for what he accomplished, and meant to the Packers, during his time here. I thought Aaron Rodgers and Brett jointly presenting the Comeback Player of the Year Award at the NFL Honors program was a great first step.
“It is really just a question of timing in terms of retiring his jersey. The timing has to be right for both Brett and the organization. Brett will be a first ballot Hall of Famer in 2016, and we would like to retire his number prior to his induction.
“I know that many of our fans were upset that Brett played for the Vikings. As time goes by, though, I think wounds are healed and people focus more on the great things he did for the team during his 16 years here. As the recent signings by Greg Jennings and Desmond Bishop show, many players in the league go on to play for rivals later in their careers.”
Murphy’s statement is echoing what Aaron Rodgers said in an interview with Jim Rome in late May.
“I look forward to him being back in the fold, as Mark Murphy has said,” Rodgers told Rome. “I think it’s time for our fans, this organization and Brett to heal through this and to move forward together before he gets the greatest honor of being inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
“You know, our country and the state of Wisconsin, these people are a people of second and third and fourth chances. I think it’s time to let the healing process begin for those who are still upset about what went down.”
As has been well documented over the past five years, Favre retired in 2008 only to change his mind and want to reclaim his spot as Green Bay’s starting quarterback. The Packers instead decided to give Rodgers his first shot as the starter and, eventually, Favre was traded to the New York Jets. After one year in New York, Favre finished his NFL career playing two seasons with the Minnesota Vikings.
An icy relationship between Rodgers and Favre ended this offseason, though, beginning with the two former MVP quarterbacks sharing the stage at the NFL Honors show in February. Since then, Favre and Rodgers have exchanged multiple public compliments about the other.
All of this will soon set the stage for Favre returning to Lambeau Field before 2016 to have his number retired.