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Favre mum on future, says shoulder may be issue

Brett Favre's rocket right arm might be running out of steam. The 39-year-old quarterback insisted Wednesday he hasn't decided whether he'll return to the New York Jets next season, but said the health of his shoulder could be a factor.

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- Brett Favre's rocket right arm might be running out of steam.

The 39-year-old quarterback insisted Wednesday he hasn't decided whether he'll return to the New York Jets next season, but said the health of his shoulder could be a factor.

"I think the ending physical, or whatever, that every player goes through after the last game will kind of maybe shed some light on some things," he said. "So we'll see."

Favre has struggled for several weeks, with one touchdown and six interceptions in New York's last four games. His arm strength doesn't appear to be what it was earlier this season, and that has led to speculation his right shoulder may be ailing. Favre did little to dispel that notion.

"During the course of the year, there was numerous times where I'd been asked about my shoulder and it had been hit a couple of times," Favre said. "I don't know. I mean, just knowing my body, there may be something, but there's no test yet to reveal anything."

Favre said he hadn't yet had the shoulder examined, but will after the season -- whether that's after Sunday's game against Miami or after the playoffs, if the Jets make it.

"I'm sure if we MRI'd enough, we'd probably find something," Favre said, laughing.

He was encouraged by how his arm felt in practice Tuesday as the team took the field a day early so they could have the Christmas holiday off Thursday.

"I have had my moments," Favre said. "I think (an exam) will reveal one way or the other if there is something wrong, and I don't want to make a big deal of it. And, obviously, I don't want to make excuses because I feel like I can make every throw."

Favre, voted to his 10th Pro Bowl last week, has looked particularly shaky during the Jets' recent slump in which they've lost three of four to drop out of first place in the AFC East. His quarterback rating has been no higher than 61.4 in any of those games, and he has routinely underthrown receivers and lacked touch on some of his passes.

"It feels OK," Favre said of his arm. "It does. There's some throws I personally think I can make, but at times I haven't. But I still think there's some throws I make that other guys, maybe their arm strength is not as strong."

Coach Eric Mangini said Wednesday he would like to have Favre back next year. Favre said he and Mangini haven't yet spoken about it and he's only focused on playing the Dolphins. The Jets need to win Sunday and hope either New England or Baltimore loses to make the playoffs.

"Do I see myself playing here next year?" Favre said. "I didn't see myself playing here this time last year. There's some things that obviously the team probably needs to think about as far as next year's concerned and some things that I need to think about and we need to discuss amongst ourselves."

Favre added that he, Mangini and general manager Mike Tannenbaum might discuss his future later this week or next week. The quarterback would prefer to avoid a repeat of last offseason, when he went back and forth before retiring in March, only to second-guess his decision weeks later and then go through a bitter divorce with Green Bay.

"I don't want to go through what happened last year, for me and for everyone else," Favre said. "And physically, you know, that has something to do with it as well. I played every game since '92. That's not to say that some things don't bother me. That will play a part in this decision as well."

Favre often turned nostalgic Wednesday, sounding at times as if he was preparing to say farewell rather than look ahead to more football. He talked about living out his boyhood dreams and becoming a record-breaking player in the process.

"It's been a great career," he said. "This year was a gamble, I guess you could say, a risk, whatever you want to call it. I can honestly say I'm thankful I was given the opportunity here. It's been a lot of fun. It's been good and bad at times as far as our season has gone, but I'm glad I came.

"I made the right decision."

When told that his tone and statements seemed to indicate he was leaning toward not coming back, Favre said that wasn't true.

"I'm disappointed, as everyone else in this building is disappointed," he said. "The opportunities that were presented to us, we couldn't have asked for a better opportunity. I'm disappointed because we didn't capitalize on that, as our fans are, as everyone else is. Basically that's what you're seeing right now. ... I mean, I'm not going to sit up here and be happy-go-lucky."

Favre added that the result of this weekend's game would not sway his decision one way or the other, even if it means a disappointing ending to what has been one of the most successful careers in NFL history.

"I could be playing 10 more years and end on a bad note, I have no idea," he said. "I don't want to be chasing ghosts."

Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press

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