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Favre may be considering Bucs

After two days of fruitless meetings, Brett Favre leaves Lambeau Field, likely for the last time: “The problem is that there’s been a lot of damage done and I can’t forget it.”

Associated Press

After two days of fruitless meetings, Brett Favre leaves Lambeau Field, likely for the last time: “The problem is that there’s been a lot of damage done and I can’t forget it.”

LAKE BUENA VISTA — The Bay watch has begun for Brett Favre.

The Green Bay quarterback appeared ready to cut ties with the Packers late Tuesday and was reportedly receptive to talking with Tampa Bay team officials about a possible trade. ESPN reported Tuesday night that Favre had talked to the Bucs and Jets. The Packers also appeared to be working through their demand for more compensation if Favre was traded to an NFC team.

Favre, 38, was reinstated by the NFL Sunday and made the decision to consider a trade after a series of meetings over the past two days with Packers coach Mike McCarthy and general manager Ted Thompson proved fruitless.

"They don't want me back,'' Favre said.

After practice Tuesday afternoon, McCarthy said Favre was not in the "proper mind-set" to remain with the Packers.

"The football team is moving forward. The train has left the station, whatever analogy you want," McCarthy told reporters in Green Bay. "He needs to jump on the train and let's go. Or, if we can't get past things that have happened, I have to keep the train moving."

Asked if Favre was committed to playing for Green Bay, McCarthy said, "That's not where he was. … It's a situation that's extremely personal for him."

A Wisconsin radio station reported that Favre and his wife, Deanna, were planning to fly from Green Bay to his home in Hattiesburg, Miss., to contemplate his future, perhaps retiring again.

ESPN reported Tuesday evening that Favre agreed to talk to the Bucs about a trade. He had previously limited his options to a return to the Packers as the starter, being released, or a trade to the Vikings or Bears. The Packers would not agree to those scenarios.

After the afternoon practice, Bucs coach Jon Gruden said he was unaware of Tampa Bay attempts to reach Favre. General manager Bruce Allen, who missed Tuesday's workouts for what team officials said was a previously scheduled engagement, was unavailable.

Since the start of training camp 11 days ago, the Bucs have never completely disguised their fascination with trading for Favre.

Starter Jeff Garcia, 38, is in the final year of his contract. Garcia, one of five quarterbacks on the roster, led the Bucs to an NFC South title and earned an appearance in the Pro Bowl. .

Events evolved fast and furious Tuesday. Favre met again with McCarthy in the morning, then with Thompson in the afternoon. McCarthy said he might talk with Favre again Tuesday night, but he didn't expect Favre's decision to leave the Packers to change.

Meanwhile, Tampa Bay's pursuit of Favre seemed to accelerate when reports surfaced that the three-time MVP would consider discussing a trade to the Bucs.

Before Tuesday, they had remained in contact with the Packers and Favre's agent, Bus Cook.

Before the Tuesday meetings, Favre told ESPN's Chris Mortensen that he was "at a stalemate" with the team and believed the "best thing for this team is for us to part ways."

Favre attempted to clarify the Packers' position that he would be allowed to compete with Aaron Rodgers for the starting job. Favre said he knew he would win the job, but in the end, he said it would create mass confusion that was not good for the team.

But Favre made it clear he didn't feel welcome anymore in Green Bay.

"The problem is that there's been a lot of damage done and I can't forget it," Favre told ESPN. "Stuff has been said, stories planted, that just aren't true. Can I get over that? I doubt it."

Favre indicated he was referring to reports that he had "waffled" on unretiring in late March and stories that alleged the Vikings were guilty of tampering when he made calls on a team-issued cell phone.

If the Bucs trade for Favre, they would likely accept his $12-million a year contract. The compensation for the Packers would likely be a conditional draft pick.

Green Bay plays at Tampa Bay on Sept. 28.

Since Garcia is scheduled to earn just $2-million in base salary this season, he would be a tremendous value to the Bucs as a backup and not necessarily a player they would look to trade.

Garcia has said he will continue to compete for the starting job "until somebody pulls my grip off it."

We may know soon if that person could be Favre.

Favre may be considering Bucs 08/05/08 [Last modified: Wednesday, August 6, 2008 10:21pm]
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