GREEN BAY, Wis. - NFL commissioner Roger Goodell hopes to have Brett Favre’s standoff with the Green Bay Packers resolved by Monday — even if he has to force the issue.
“Both parties are talking,” Goodell said in an interview with the NFL Network on Saturday. “I think the discussions are moving ahead and I hope we have something resolved by Monday. I think we’ve gotten to the point where we kind of have to force it.”
Goodell was not going to grant Favre’s reinstatement request Saturday, NFL spokesman Randall Liu said. Favre submitted a letter requesting reinstatement from the Packers’ reserve/retired list Tuesday, but Goodell has held off approving it in hopes that Favre and the Packers could resolve their dispute.
Favre is having second thoughts about playing this season after retiring in March. But even after three weeks’ worth of rising tensions between Favre and the team, he apparently still might stay retired.
Favre is considering the Packers’ offer of a marketing agreement worth a reported $20 million over 10 years. The value of the deal could be driven even higher during negotiations between Favre and the team over the weekend.
If he accepts the deal this weekend, he presumably won’t report to Packers training camp to cause a major distraction to the team and might abandon his bid to end retirement entirely.
Still, Favre could be reinstated and show up to Packers camp early next week. Once Favre is reinstated, the Packers will have 24 hours to decide whether to release him or add him to their active roster.
Favre arrival would create a media frenzy in Packers camp, and might force team officials to redouble their efforts to trade him or reconsider their decision not to release him.
The Packers fear Favre would sign with division rival Minnesota immediately after being released, and have filed tampering charges against the Vikings alleging the team had inappropriate dialogue with Favre.
In the most unlikely scenario, Favre would linger on the Packers’ roster as a $12 million backup to Aaron Rodgers.
“Primarily, it starts with whether Brett Favre wants to play football and then, second, whether the Packers want him to play for them,” Goodell said. “That’s pretty much what it comes down to.”
Goodell said the Packers are being “reasonable” in their dispute with Favre.
“These are difficult, emotional issues that they’re dealing with,” Goodell said.
In a visit to Cincinnati Bengals training camp earlier Saturday, Goodell said he wasn’t trying to interject himself into the Favre situation.
“I was interjected into it because there was a tampering charge initially,” Goodell said. “I’m not looking for things to interject myself to. It’s an issue that needs to be addressed because of the competing interests. You want to make sure it’s done properly and within our rules. This is an issue that ultimately has to be decided between Brett and the Packers.”
Packers coach Mike McCarthy again praised his players for not allowing the Favre situation to distract them.
“What’s going on between Brett and the organization is something that the players and coaches, we cannot handle,” McCarthy said Saturday. “We’re not involved in it. I think they did a good job from a responsibility standpoint dealing with it for about two days, but the focus has been on improving.”
McCarthy was not pleased with the way the Packers’ offense performed in practice Saturday afternoon, making offensive players repeat two periods of practice as defensive players headed for the showers. But McCarthy didn’t blame the sub-par performance on the Favre situation.
“Today was our first bump in the road in terms of having too many negative things happen in practice, and I think that’s a credit to their focus and their energy level and staying true to, it’s training camp,” McCarthy said. “Everybody is going through it, and they’ve done a really good job. No one is really talking about it, frankly.”