Brett Favre told the NFL Network's Steve Mariucci on Friday that he's very serious about playing again. The lingering question now appears to be whether that will happen with the Green Bay Packers.
Favre has requested his release from the Packers in a letter to the team sent through his agent, James "Bus" Cook. The request comes after a conference call Tuesday in which Favre expressed to team officials his desire to play again.
Favre told Mariucci, who was Favre's position coach with the Packers from 1992-95, that he felt the Packers were ready to go forward without him, but that he still wants to play. If that is the team's stance, Favre indicated, then the only alternatives would be a trade or a release.
"[Favre] just felt, 'If you aren't going to have me back, then at least release me, to allow me to look for work,' " Mariucci said. " 'No hard feelings; we'll just go on with our business.'
"Right now he's feeling pretty darn good," Mariucci said, "and he's very serious about playing."
The Packers have remained publicly silent about their interest in welcoming back Favre, who announced his retirement March 6. The Packers released a written statement Friday acknowledging they "are aware of the latest developments" regarding Favre.
"Brett earned and exercised the right to retire on his terms," the statement read. "We wanted him to return and welcomed him back on more than one occasion. Brett's press conference and subsequent conversations in the following weeks illustrated his commitment to retirement. The finality of his decision to retire was accepted by the organization. At that point, the Green Bay Packers made the commitment to move forward with our football team."
Favre, 38, played all but the first of his 17 NFL seasons with the Packers, but Mariucci said Favre would consider playing for another team, if the Packers indeed have moved on.
"If they will not have him in Green Bay and he wants to play and he's ready and able to play, yes, he would consider playing for someone else," Mariucci said. "As hard as I think that is to imagine, I think the answer is yes, he would consider playing for someone else if it's not going to happen in Green Bay."
The Packers placed Favre on the reserve/retired list on April 25, meaning that the future Hall of Famer no longer counted against the team's 80-player roster. To be reinstated off that list, Favre would have to send written notification to the Packers and the NFL of his intentions to play.
Once the league is notified, the Packers would have approximately 24 hours to make a decision to either activate or release Favre.
The statement did not indicate what the Packers would do at that point.
"As always," the team's statement said, "the Packers will do what's right and in the best interest of the team. As with all Packers greats, Brett's legacy will always be celebrated by our fans and the organization, regardless of any change in his personal intentions."