Packers reach deal to trade Brett Favre to Jets
(AP) - Brett Favre's journey from retirement andback has finally ended - in New York. The Green Bay Packers reached an agreement Wednesday night totrade their three-time MVP and Super Bowl-winning quarterback tothe New York Jets, ending an emotionally grinding month ofindecision over Favre's future. The move ends a remarkably ugly split between Green Bay and oneof its most beloved players, allows the Packers to move forwardwith new starting quarterback Aaron Rodgers and gives Favre a freshstart - although not exactly the one he wanted, as Favre's firstchoice was widely believed to be the Minnesota Vikings. Terms of the trade weren't immediately available. "It is with some sadness that we make this announcement, butalso with the desire for certainty that will allow us to move theteam and organization forward in the most positive way possible,"Green Bay officials said in a statement. Jets chairman and CEO Woody Johnson issued a statement earlyThursday. "I am looking forward to seeing Brett Favre in a New York Jetsuniform," Johnson said. "He represents a significant addition tothis franchise, and reflects our commitment to putting the bestpossible team on the field." Green Bay had been talking with the Jets and Tampa BayBuccaneers since deciding earlier this week that they could nolonger coexist with Favre. The Packers decided to move forward with Rodgers as their starerafter Favre announced his retirement in March. Given theircommitment to Rodgers, team officials weren't particularlyreceptive when Favre decided just over a month ago that he mightwant to play after all - the latest development in several years'worth of flip-flopping about his football future. The agreement was first reported by Fox Sports on its Web site. "We just felt like this was an opportunity to go get somebodyof Brett's stature and what he's accomplished," Jets generalmanager Mike Tannenbaum said during a conference call earlyThursday morning. "We felt it was in the best interest of the teamand when the opportunity presented itself, we felt it was the rightmove for us to make and we went ahead and did it." A number of fans made it clear throughout training camp thatthey wanted Favre on the Jets with signs and "Get Brett!" chants.Favre's new No. 4 Jets jersey already was for sale on the team'sWeb site about an hour after the trade was announced. Tannenbaum, who said he had a "good" conversation with Favre,wouldn't speculate whether the quarterback will play in New Yorkbeyond this season. "We had discussions with him and his agent, Bus Cook,"Tannenbaum said, "and we're going into this and we're going totake this one year at a time and we're excited to have Brett on theteam this year." The arrival of Favre signals the end of Chad Pennington's careerwith the Jets. Tannenbaum said there would be another transactionregarding Pennington, who spent his first eight seasons with theJets. "It's a bittersweet moment for us," Tannenbaum said. "I haveall the respect in the world for Chad as a person, as a player.We've accomplished a lot of good things with Chad ... He gave hisheart and soul to this organization for a long, long time. I reallyappreciate everything he's done." Favre left Green Bay on Wednesday, boarding a private plane thatleft for Hattiesburg, Miss. at 1:25 p.m. EDT with his wife, Deanna,and Cook. Favre's family home is near Hattiesburg. In Mississippi, Favre confirmed that he was considering the Jetsand Buccaneers. "We're working on it," Favre told Jackson TV station WJTV."Hopefully, we can get something resolved. I've been saying thatfor quite a while now. I don't want to say we're running out oftime, but I need to get into a camp somewhere." The 38-year-old Favre holds most major NFL passing records andled the Packers to the NFC Championship last season, where theylost to the New York Giants. Favre threw what would prove to be thedecisive interception in overtime. The Jets went into training camp with an open competitionbetween Pennington and Kellen Clemens after neither establishedthemselves during a 4-12 season. Pennington was 1-7 as the starterand was benched midway through the season. Clemens went 3-5, butPennington actually had the better season statistically. After some hope for reconciliation between Favre and the Packersearlier this week, the final split became obvious Tuesday evening. Packers coach Mike McCarthy told reporters on Tuesday that afterapproximately six hours of what he called "brutally honest"conversations over two days, the coach had determined that Favredoesn't have the right mind-set to play for the Packers. McCarthy said Favre couldn't seem to get past emotional woundsthat were opened as tensions mounted in recent weeks - even withthe chance to win his starting job back potentially on the table. "The train has left the station, whatever analogy you want,"McCarthy said Tuesday. "He needs to jump on the train and let'sgo. Or, if we can't get past things that have happened, I have tokeep the train moving." McCarthy said Wednesday he was happy the rest of his playerswere getting a chance to move forward. "We talked about it last night," McCarthy said. "The playerswant resolution, they want what everybody wants. To come out hereevery day and talk about somebody that is not here and then showsup, it's gone on too long, and understandably so. They want to playfootball."