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"I know I can still play, but it's like I told my wife, I'm just tired mentally. I'm just tired," Favre told ESPN's Chris Mortensen in a voice mail message.
"If I felt like coming back -- and Deanna [Favre, his wife] and I talked about this -- the only way for me to be successful would be to win a Super Bowl. To go to the Super Bowl and lose, would almost be worse than anything else.
"Anything less than a Super Bowl win would be unsuccessful," Favre said in the message.
"I know it shouldn't feel unsuccessful, but the only way to come back and make that be the right decision would be to come back and win a Super Bowl and honestly the odds of that, they're tough. Those are big shoes for me to fill, and I guess it was a challenge I wasn't up for. "
Mortensen reported that according to Favre's agent, James "Bus" Cook, Favre informed Packers coach Mike McCarthy of his decision Monday night.
The Packers have announced that McCarthy and general manager Ted Thompson will hold a press at 4 p.m. (eastern time) this afternoon.
"He has had one of the greatest careers in the history of the National Football League, and he is able to walk away from the game on his own terms -- not many players are able to do that," Thompson told the Associated Press this morning.
Speculation that Favre's decision was related to the team's failure to land Randy Moss, an unrestricted free agent for four days before re-signing with New England has already begun, fueled in part by a comment from Cook.
"Nobody pushed Brett Favre out the door, but then nobody encouraged him not to go out that door, either," Cook told AP sports writer Chris Jenkins this morning.
Cook also told the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel that he believes Favre wants to play another year and didn't get the sense that the Packers wanted him back all that badly.
"It's my opinion," Cook said of the Packers' lack of interest. "I know he wants to play one more year. I do not know much conversation there was (between Favre and the Packers) and I don't think anyone forced him to make that decision. But I don't know that anyone tried to talk him out of it."
Mortensen reported that Favre, who wanted the Packers to obtain Moss when he was a free agent last season, had once again pushed for Moss to join the Packers.
Favre had spoken to Moss late last week and was willing to commit to more than just this season if Moss and the Packers could come to an agreement.
But in his voice mail message to Mortensen on Tuesday, Favre said the Packers' lack of pursuit of Moss was not the driving reason why he retired.
"This is not about the Packers and who they got or who they didn't get. I get along fine with [Thompson] and I get along great with [McCarthy]. Do I agree with them all the time? No. But the bottom line is, none of that stuff affected my decision," Favre said.
NFL Network analyst Steve Mariucci, who is very close to Favre, spoke to the quarterback for 30 minutes this morning. Mariucci dismissed the Moss theory, stressing the decision came down to Favre "being tired."
Mariucci also stressed the decision has been a long time in the making and there was no single determining factor. Mariucci added that Favre isn't watching coverage of the story because he's tired of hearing about the Moss angle.
Still, Mortensen contends that Favre's decision would have been different had the Packers landed Moss.
And I won't argue the point. I think it's absolutely safe to say we wouldn't be discussing this story at all if Moss was a Packer.
But I find it hard to believe that was the sole determining factor.
Indeed, the consensus among observers in the weeks before free agency started indicated Favre was closer to retirement this year than he was last year. Mariucci told NFL Network colleague Adam Schefter this morning that he believes Favre was already leaning towards retirement when the two talked at the Super Bowl early last month.
The recent incident in which an announcement of Favre's retirement (citing Thompson) was briefly posted on the team's official web site last Thursday lends further credence to that notion.
Whatever the case, it's safe to assume we'll be hearing more about that angle in coming days.
Meanwhile, Favre just completed his 16th season in Green Bay (he played in Atlanta as a rookie), where he has written his name large across the NFL landscape and its record book. He's the league's all-time leader in completions (5,377), attempts (8,758), passing yards (61,655), touchdown passes (442) and consecutive starts by a quarterback (253). Favre also won more games as a quarterback (160) than anybody in history, and was named NFL MVP three times.
He led the Packers to their victory in Super Bowl XXXI, and their NFC North division championship last season was their seventh with him.
He completed 356 of 535 passes for 4,155 yards, with 28 touchdown passes and 15 interceptions last season, one of his best. The Packers went 13-3 during the regular season and lost to the eventual Super Bowl champion New York Giants in overtime in the NFC championship game.
Favre was named to his ninth Pro Bowl for his play this year, and won Sports Illustrated's Sportsman of the Year honor.
As Glazer suggested, Favre won fans over with his carefree style that epitomized the "gunslinger" moniker.
If in fact, Favre does not have a change of heart, his final pass of a Hall of Fame Career was an interception by the Giants' Corey Webster, setting up New York's overtime win in the NFC title game.
For the last few years, the question of whether or not Favre was going to retire has been the most debated topic during the off-season. Two years ago he let his decision linger as reports both that he was returning and that he was retiring emerged. In fact, at one point he was supposedly going to announce his retirement at his charity golf tournament. Of course, those reports ultimately proved to be false.
This time, Favre has made his decision and will likely make it publicly known soon. However, like in the past, Favre could wake up any day now and decide to change his mind, although that doesn't seem likely at this point.
The team will now shift to Aaron Rodgers, a former first-round pick, who has had few opportunities to play since being selected with the 24th overall pick in the 2005 draft.
But when Favre was injured in a Thursday night game against Dallas this past season, Rodgers looked pretty good in relief. The former Cal star completed 18 of 26 passes for 201 yards and a touchdown -- the first of his career -- and nearly rallied the Packers to the win.