Brett Favre’s stint with the Minnesota Vikings appears to be over after a single season.
Favre has informed the Vikings he will not return to Minnesota this fall, a person with knowledge of the situation told The Associated Press on Tuesday.
The 40-year-old Favre called coach Brad Childress to say his injured ankle is not responding as well to surgery and rehabilitation as he had hoped, according to the person, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the team had not made an official announcement.
With Favre, of course, nothing is ever necessarily final after 19 NFL seasons. He told the Vikings last year he wouldn’t play, but changed his mind and joined them immediately after they broke training camp. Camp this year ends on Aug. 12.
Favre has waffled on retiring every summer since 2006. It led to an ugly parting with the Packers that got him traded from Green Bay to the Jets in 2008. After a so-so season in New York, he announced his retirement in early 2009 for the second time, then reconsidered and signed with the Vikings.
He had one of his best seasons last year, with career bests in completion percentage (68.4), quarterback rating (107.2) and fewest interceptions (7), while throwing for 33 TDs and 4,202 yards to lead the Vikings to an NFC North title. He hurt his left ankle in the NFC championship game loss to the New Orleans Saints and had arthroscopic surgery in May.
Favre was under contract for $13 million this season, but only if he plays.
Nearly everyone had assumed Favre would return and he did nothing to discourage that. He threw passes for a second straight summer with high school students in Hattiesburg, Miss., joked about playing until he’s 50 and said playing another year wouldn’t worsen his already-damaged ankle.
Childress shrugged off all the questions and admitted he didn’t know whether Favre would really come back. The Vikings didn’t pursude a trade for Donovan McNabb and declined to select a quarterback of the future in the draft.
Still, Favre took a beating in the loss to the Saints and said afterward that he would not take long to make a decision on returning for the second year of his contract. As the months ticked by, Favre posted a statement on his website reminding everyone that his ankle problems didn’t mean his career was over.
If Favre doesn’t play next season – and if he decides to actually retire for good – it will end one of the most storied careers in NFL history. A three-time MVP, he holds every major NFL career passing record.
(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)