Brett Favre believes his successor as the franchise quarterback of the Packers will not be in Green Bay much longer.
Reports emerged last week that Aaron Rodgers does not want to return to the team he has led since taking over from Favre in 2008. There has long been a feeling that the Packers have not done enough to support the reigning NFL MVP, who has only been to one Super Bowl despite being one of the league’s most dominant players for more than a decade.
Those rumblings were followed by a report from the Athletic on Wednesday that Rodgers was has likened Green Bay general manager Brian Gutekunst in group chats with his teammates to “Jerry Krause”, the late Chicago Bulls front-office executive who became an archenemy of Michael Jordan over a series of personnel moves Jordan disagreed with.
While some dismissed the reports as an attempt by Rodgers to gain more leverage with the team, Favre told ESPN Wisconsin radio’s Wilde & Tausch show that his “gut” told him the issues may be too serious to resolve.
“I think I know Aaron fairly well, and honestly I just don’t see him coming back and just saying, ‘All right, let’s just bury the hatchet, whatever caused the rift, and I’m just going to come back and play because I love the guys, I love the Green Bay fans’. I assume he does – but his rift isn’t with the fans or the players. It’s with the front office. Will he just swallow his pride and come in? Maybe. But I don’t see that happening.
“If there’s not a trade, my gut tells me that he’d rather sit out than play. That’s just my gut. There’s no reason for me to say that other than that’s what my gut’s telling me, and I think you guys know Aaron fairly well enough to sort of feel the same way.”
The Hall of Famer added that the period between the draft and the start of preseason training camps would be crucial. “It’s going to be interesting what takes places here between now and the start of camp,” Favre said. “But right now I’m not very optimistic.”
Favre played for the Packers from 1992 to 2007 before being replaced by Rodgers. His own exit from the Packers was far from smooth and he said he hoped the end of Rodgers’ career in Green Bay would be more fitting.
“I’d like to see him win a Super Bowl in Green Bay, another one,” Favre said. “But the thing is, life’s too short, I want him to be happy. He’s been there as long as I was there, and I know what that means and he’s put up unbelievable numbers. Win another Super Bowl and then do what you want to do, whether it’s keep playing, play somewhere else, whatever. But win one more in Green Bay and go out the way you want to go out.
“You don’t want to go out this way, whether it’s sit out or play somewhere else.”
Favre has made similar predictions in the past. Last April, he said Green Bay’s decision to draft quarterback Jordan Love in the first round rather than a receiver to complement Rodgers would come back to haunt the team.
“They don’t draft any weapons, not just in the first round, but any weapons that can help immediately, to my knowledge. And that just sends a disrespectful message to Aaron Rodgers,” Favre said at the time. “He has every right to be disappointed if he is.”