GREEN BAY, Wis. &
Brett Favre's SUV was back in its parking spot at Lambeau Field this morning, less than 12 hours after a late-night meeting between Favre and Green Bay Packers coach Mike McCarthy concluded.
Not that the two necessarily reached any conclusions.
Favre and McCarthy were supposed to talk about Favre's commitment to football and his role on the team Monday night. The fact that the meeting ran several hours over its allotted time was a strong hint that it went beyond simply welcoming Favre back to compete with Aaron Rodgers for the starting job.
The uncertainty of the situation made it far less likely that Favre would be on the practice field with the Packers for today's — p.m. EDT practice. And continued disagreement on Favre's role could accelerate trade talks, perhaps with the Minnesota Vikings &
something Packers officials have suspected Favre wanted all along.
McCarthy had scheduled a news conference for 9:15 p.m. Monday to talk about his plans for Favre. But the news conference was postponed because McCarthy was still meeting with Favre, and hadn't been rescheduled as of noon today.
Both Favre and McCarthy finally drove out a back gate at Lambeau at 12:22 a.m. today. Favre waved to a small crowd of fans and media from his dark red SUV, and McCarthy followed immediately behind him in a black SUV.
Favre officially was reinstated and restored to the team's active roster Monday. Going into Monday night's meeting with Favre, McCarthy was focused on trying to figure out whether Favre really was 100 percent committed to playing again.
McCarthy said Favre's answers would go a long way toward formulating the team's approach to its quarterback position this season.
"There have been no promises," McCarthy said Sunday night, the most recent comment by a team official on Favre's situation. "Once again, there has been indecision throughout Brett's path back here to Green Bay. It's important for us to sit down and communicate. There are some things we need to go through."
At least one aspect of the Favre saga has been resolved: The Vikings won't be punished for alleged tampering with Favre.
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell ruled Monday that he found no violations of league policy in the Packers' tampering complaint against Minnesota Vikings. The Packers filed tampering charges last month, suspecting that interest from the Vikings was the main reason Favre had suddenly changed his mind about playing in 2008.
And Minnesota coach Brad Childress denied reports that the Vikings have talked to the Packers about a potential trade for Favre.
"We haven't had any contact" with the Packers, Childress said Monday.
Vikings coaches apparently did have contact with Favre in the offseason, but Goodell found that their conversations didn't violate league tampering rules. In a statement, Goodell said, "None of those conversations suggest that Favre was soliciting a job or that other teams were soliciting his services."
The Packers reluctantly embraced Favre's forced return to the football field Sunday, after failing to come to a financial agreement that would manage to make Favre happy while staying retired. And while Favre's role remains unclear, Rodgers said Sunday that he's ready for a potential competition.
"I know if they do open it up to competition, not a lot of people give me a chance, but I believe in myself and I'm going to be the best I can be," Rodgers said.
As the Favre saga continues to take unexpected twists and turns, the Packers apparently are turning to an expert in crisis management: Former White House press secretary Ari Fleischer.
Fleischer gave a lecture to Packers players last week about media relations &
an event that was scheduled before Favre got the so-called "itch" to play again &
but the team apparently thought highly enough of Fleischer's advice that they decided to keep him around.
"Can't you tell?" McCarthy quipped Sunday night, after he was asked about a foxsports.com report that the Packers were employing Fleischer for one month as a consultant.
"I don't know the specifics," McCarthy said. "If he is, I might go see him when I'm done here."
Since leaving the White House, Fleischer has gone on to become president of Ari Fleischer Sports Communications, a joint venture with IMG. Last week, Fleischer told The Associated Press that he discussed the Favre situation with Packers players.
"Obviously, it's a topic, and it wasn't ignored," Fleischer said.
AP Sports Writer Jon Krawczynski contributed to this report from Mankato, Minn.
Favre's role remains in doubt; practice unlikely
GREEN BAY, Wis. &