Friday, February 02, 2007

Favre to Return for 17th Season

Brett Favre is back.

Packers general manager Ted Thompson said the three-time MVP called him to say he was "going to give it another shot" and return for his 17th NFL season -- thus bringing his now-annual flirtation with retirement to an end far earlier than he had in the previous two offseasons.

"I am so excited about coming back," the 37-year-old quarterback said Friday on the Web site of the Sun Herald in Biloxi, Miss. "We have a good nucleus of young players. We were 8-8 last year, and that's encouraging."

It had been shaping up as a rough offseason for Packers fans. Favre led many to believe he intended to retire when he became emotional during a television interview after the Packers beat the Chicago Bears in the regular-season finale -- and then the rival Bears marched through the playoffs to earn a spot in Sunday's Super Bowl.

Favre has started 257 consecutive games including the playoffs, an NFL record for quarterbacks. Favre broke Dan Marino's record for career completions (4,967) in 2006 and is closing in on Marino's marks for career touchdown passes (420) and yards passing (61,361).

As he has done in the past several offseasons, Favre returned to his home in Mississippi after the season to deliberate about his future. Last year, Favre waited until late April to tell the team he was returning.

Favre's accomplishments include three league MVP awards -- he shared 1997 honors with Detroit Lions running back Barry Sanders -- and throwing two touchdown passes in a 35-21 victory over New England in the 1997 Super Bowl to give the Packers their first championship in 29 years. Earlier in that championship season, Favre spent time in the Menninger Clinic in Topeka, Kan., battling an addiction to painkillers.

Favre led the Packers back to the Super Bowl the following season, but they lost to John Elway's Denver Broncos 31-24.

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