In a fit of anger, Green Bay Packers quarterback Brett Favre requested a trade nearly two weeks ago, a source close to the quarterback confirmed. The trade request was initially reported by FOXsports.com.
In addition, Favre expressed his frustration over the team’s failure to acquire former Pro Bowl wide receiver Randy Moss after Favre said he had agreed to restructure his deal to accommodate Moss.
Although the Packers have reportedly told Favre that they have no intention of dealing him, the revelation of the trade request and his public comments about the failed effort to get Moss, could make for an interesting time when the Packers hold a mini-camp next weekend.
Even more, Favre’s remarks could put pressure on Packers general manager Ted Thompson, who has been coy over the past two years about his desire to have Favre come back or retire.
Two weeks ago, Thompson talked about the franchise's emphasis on character when targeting players – perceived as an indirect explanation for Green Bay not finalizing a deal for Moss. However, Thompson is the same executive who last season signed wide receiver Koren Robinson after Robinson committed a DUI while under contract with the Minnesota Vikings. It was a relapse of previous drinking problems for Robinson.
As for Favre, who led Green Bay to a Super Bowl title during the 1996 season and guided the Packers to another championship berth a season later, he said his focus is only on one objective.
"I just want to win; maybe I see things the wrong way," Favre told reporters in Mississippi over the weekend. "I don't want to ruffle any feathers and I want people to respect me. Sometimes I think it's hard for them to let Brett go. They might think that we pay him a lot of money, but he still gives us the best chance to win. I've never been told that, but there are times when I wonder if I'm the odd man out here and they just don't know how to tell me."
That statement appears to be a direct reply to claims by Favre and those close to him that Thompson has not been clear what direction he wants to go at quarterback. In 2005, Thompson spent a first-round pick to take quarterback Aaron Rodgers as the heir apparent to Favre.
"I don't know if I've lost faith, and I think everyone in the organization wants to win. I just don't know if it includes me," Favre said. "If it's going to be five years from now, I'm not going to be here. This is 17 years for me and I want to win."
Favre had expected the Packers to complete a deal for Moss. He told the Sun Herald in Biloxi (Miss.): "It was a done deal and the stories of how we lost him because he didn't want to restructure his contract were not true.
"He was going to wipe his contract clean and sign for $3 million guaranteed, plus a fourth-round draft pick. That would have been a steal. But we were not willing to guarantee part of that $3 million. I even had (agent Bus Cook) call up there and tell them I would give up part of my salary to guarantee that part of the money. Apparently that wasn't enough either."
Thompson responded to Favre's comments and questions about the situation through an issued statement on Sunday.
"I think it's natural for a player to be frustrated from time to time – that's simply being human," Thompson wrote. "Everyone knows that Brett Favre is all about winning. As an organization, we share that commitment. And we want to win now."
As for the trade request, Thompson was less direct.
"We never comment on the talks we have with our players or with their agents, in line with the long-standing policy of our organization," Thompson wrote. "We try to encourage open and honest dialogue with players and their agents. But if those talks later are shared with third parties, the willingness of players to be open in future conversations may be compromised."
- Ted Thompson
- the Packers