McCarthy: Marketing Deal good for Favre, Pack

August 1, 2008 11:23:44 AM PDT
Green Bay Packers coach Mike McCarthy says a potential marketing contract for Brett Favre could benefit the star quarterback and the team. More importantly, it also could resolve their standoff over Favre's retirement. The marketing deal, worth a reported $20 million over 10 years, might end Favre's bid to return just months after retiring, and presumably would keep him from reporting to Packers training camp when the team is not planning for him to start. Favre confirmed he was considering the marketing deal to ESPN Thursday.

"Brett needs to stay a part of football," McCarthy said after practice Friday morning. "Obviously, he's a part of the Green Bay Packers. This is really something that's been out there all along."

McCarthy said the deal, which was interpreted by some as a last-minute bribe to keep Favre away from camp, actually has been on the table for months. McCarthy said he first heard about it at Favre's retirement news conference in March.

Despite that tearful goodbye, Favre now is considering a comeback. But Green Bay hasn't been eager to have him, with Aaron Rodgers taking over the starter's role. The Packers also don't want to release Favre, suspecting he would immediately sign with division rival Minnesota.

Tensions have built between Favre and the team over the past several weeks. Earlier this week, Favre sent a letter to NFL commissioner Roger Goodell requesting to be reinstated.

But Goodell has held off approving the request, hoping the two sides could resolve their differences. Team president and CEO Mark Murphy flew to Mississippi to meet with Favre and his agent, James "Bus" Cook, on Wednesday. That meeting apparently rekindled talks about the marketing agreement.

Favre said in a text message to ESPN reporter Ed Werder Thursday night that the marketing deal might be the best solution.

"There isn't a perfect solution to this, but Mark Murphy is at least trying," Favre told ESPN. "We know what they want and where I stand. His solution, although awkward and unsettling for most, may be the best in the end."

But if the deal can't be worked out, Favre still could be reinstated and report to camp, presumably to force the team to trade him or reconsider releasing him.

Cook told The Associated Press Thursday that Favre understands he would be walking into a media frenzy by showing up for camp, but he's willing to handle that it if that's the only way he can force his way back into football.

"He's prepared to deal with it," Cook said. "He's ready to go back, but he can't go back until the commissioner reinstates him."


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