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Aikman: Favre might be driven to retire

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Feb. 19, 2006) -- Troy Aikman believes the Green Bay Packers' struggles will likely drive Brett Favre into retirement.

"I'd hate to see him retire," Aikman told The Associated Press. "But I know that going out and having seasons like what he went through this past year is really frustrating and it just isn't much fun. So I don't know what he's going to do. I think the fact that he is having a hard time making the decision, in some ways, to me, that kind of has made the decision for him."

Favre hasn't said whether he will return to the Packers, who are coming off a 4-12 season -- their only losing season with Favre under center.

Aikman, a television analyst for Fox, hasn't spoken with Favre since the end of the season but is one of several high-profile former quarterbacks Favre has asked for advice on retirement.

"Over the years, Brett and I have talked a lot about kind of what happened at the end of my career, kind of where he's at right now," said Aikman, who was at Daytona International Speedway to oversee the debut of Hall of Fame Racing, the NASCAR team he founded with Roger Staubach. "And Brett has drawn some comparisons to what he's currently going through with what I went through at the end of my career -- not from a health standpoint, but just kind of where the team is."

Aikman said the Cowboys' downturn was more of a factor than a string of concussions in his retirement decision. Aikman said Favre is in a similar situation.

"Health was a small factor in my decision," Aikman said. "But it had more to do with, I just didn't think that we were doing what was necessary to be competitive any longer. And I know that Brett is dealing with that currently."

Favre threw a career-high 29 interceptions last season, but Aikman believes he still has top-notch skills.

"He's still playing at a high level, and I still believe he's one of the best quarterbacks in the league," Aikman said.

Favre said in an ESPN interview last month that he hasn't made a final decision on retirement, but if he had to decide right now, he would retire.

To Aikman, that signals that Favre's time as an NFL quarterback might be up.

"I don't know then if you ever get back to the level of 100 percent commitment to say, 'Yeah, this is what I want to do,"' Aikman said. "Because usually what happens is that no matter how good your season is, you always go through periods where it's a struggle. The best years we had, with our Super Bowls, we had periods where things were tight. When you're not 100 percent committed, then when you hit those periods, and you're asking yourself, 'Why am I doing this?' And I don't know if you can have your quarterback asking some of those questions."

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