"Brett Favre has informed us of his intention to retire from the Green Bay Packers and the NFL," Packers general manager Ted Thompson said in a statement issued Tuesday morning. "He has had one of the greatest careers in the history of the National Football League, and he is able to walk away from the game on his own terms – not many players are able to do that."
Favre walks away from the game as the all-time leader with 442 touchdown passes and multiple other NFL records during his 17-year career. Most notable is that Favre played in 275 consecutive games, including the playoffs.
Favre notified the Packers of his decision on Monday night, according to his agent Bus Cook. Favre had wrestled with retirement in recent years, but usually took a couple of months after the season ended before announcing his return.
Favre's announcement reportedly coincides with wide receiver Randy Moss' decision to return to the New England Patriots Monday. ESPN.com had reported that Moss and Favre spoke late last week and that Favre was ready to continue playing if Moss joined the Packers.
Green Bay did not pursue Moss.
Favre finished last season with 28 touchdowns, 15 interceptions and a quarterback rating of 95.7. That was the highest rating for Favre since 1996, when he led Green Bay to a Super Bowl title and the first of back-to-back appearances in the championship game.
"The Packers owe him a tremendous debt of gratitude. He has given Packers fans 16 years of wonderful memories, a Super Bowl championship among them, that will live on forever," Thompson said. "Brett's many accomplishments on the field are legendary. He leaves the game holding virtually every career passing record, plus his consecutive starts streak, which may never be duplicated.
"The uniqueness of Brett Favre – his personality, charisma and love of the game – undoubtedly will leave him as one of the enduring figures in NFL history."
Favre was selected in the second round of the 1991 NFL draft by the Atlanta Falcons and traded to Green Bay the following year. In addition to guiding the Packers to a victory over the Patriots in Super Bowl XXXI, he won three straight league MVP trophies from 1995-97.