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Replay: Patriots Unfiltered Mon Aug 10 | 12:00 AM - 11:59 PM

Favre breaks silence, makes first public comment on future

MILWAUKEE -- Brett Favre finally is speaking for himself: He wants to play but doesn't feel welcome in Green Bay, so he's asking to be released.

The quarterback's first substantial comments on his latest retirement decision reversal come in an interview with Fox News on "On the Record with Greta Van Susteren."

"OK, you guys have a different path, fine," Favre said, recalling a June 20 conversation with Packers coach Mike McCarthy. "What does that mean for me? So that means either you give me my helmet, welcome back, or release me, or attempt to trade me. We all know that's a possibility, but way-out-there possibility.

"And he says, 'Well, playing here is not an option, but we can't envision you playing with another team, you know, either.' And I thought, so basically, I'm not playing for anyone if I choose to come back."

According to Van Susteren, who spoke to the AP by telephone Monday afternoon, Favre said he was "never fully committed" to retiring and felt pressured by the Packers to make a decision, a notion Packers general manager Ted Thompson and coach Mike McCarthy tried to dispel in an interview with the AP on Saturday.

"Ted always wanted Brett back," McCarthy said. "We always wanted Brett back."

The team had no immediate reaction to Favre's interview Monday.

"We currently have nothing to add on this matter," a team spokesman said.

Favre told Fox he understands that the Packers want to move on -- but if they're doing so, they should let him go.

"Them moving on does not bother me," Favre said. "It doesn't. I totally understand that. By me retiring March 3, I knew that could possibly happen. All I was saying is, you know, I'm thinking about playing again."

Favre said he has thought about the ramifications of playing for another team, moving to another city, and angering some Packers fans.

"You know, the bottom line is, I may not play anywhere," Favre said. "But we have thought of all those things. We have thought about it."

Van Susteren -- who is from Appleton, Wis., is a Packers shareholder and previously had interviewed Favre and his wife, Deanna -- said Favre made it clear he would not return to the Packers if he wasn't the starter. And while Favre said the Packers asked him for a list of teams to which he would accept a trade, he wants to be released to make sure he ends up on a competitive club.

Thompson said the team wasn't going to release Favre, but he could come back in a "different role than he was" because the team is committed to going forward with Aaron Rodgers.

"You're telling me playing there is not an option, but playing elsewhere, we just can't -- we're trying to protect your legacy," Favre said. "Well, thank you. I appreciate that. But apparently now, they're trying to protect my legacy by bringing me back and having me be a backup. Boy, that is really good."

Thompson and McCarthy wouldn't discuss the possibility of trading Favre and said they hadn't received any trade inquiries as of Saturday.

Thompson and McCarthy gave AP a detailed description of their dealings with Favre throughout the offseason, including an episode a few weeks after Favre's retirement where the two were prepared to fly to Mississippi to seal the deal on a Favre comeback -- only to have the quarterback change his mind again.

In the interview, Favre said the Packers were being dishonest, although he did not point out specific examples in the portion of the interview aired Monday. A second segment is scheduled to air Tuesday.

"If you move on, you tell me one thing, don't come back and tell the public ... just say it, 'You know, we've moved on and we'll work with Brett on whatever it is,'" Favre said. "Don't make up a lot of stuff or give half of the truth."

McCarthy and Thompson also expressed concern Saturday that Favre spent most of the offseason questioning whether he still had the commitment to play football. But Favre told Fox News it wasn't going to be an issue.

"If I'm going to play it's going to be 100 percent commitment," Favre said.

Favre's interview -- which was receiving top billing over an interview with presidential candidate John McCain in promos for Van Susteren's show that aired during the day Monday -- is the latest development in what is looking more and more like an irreparable schism between one of the NFL's most storied franchises and perhaps its most beloved quarterback.

Thompson called the situation "gut-wrenching" Saturday.

"I mean, it hurts," he said. "I'm not talking about physically hurting, but the sensitivity. We understand where the fans are coming from. This is a hot-button issue that surpasses anything I've ever gone through."

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