ESPN reports that say Brett Favre has conveyed to Green Bay Packers coach Mike McCarthy that he has "the itch" to continue playing, should come as no surprise to anyone.
The big question is this: Will the Packers welcome Favre back? During the offseason, the Packers have tried to move on from the Favre era. They picked the regular season opener against the Vikings to retire Favre's jersey. And they've let it be known that Aaron Rodgers is ready to lead the Packers into the future.
The Packers are not jumping to take Favre back. They're concerned about how such a move would affect Rodgers. And they've already spent an entire offseason preparing Rodgers to lead the Packers. Mike McCarthy has adjusted his offense to fit Rodgers strengths.
Favre's only reaction to the ESPN report was in a text message to the Biloxi Sun-Herald. It said, "It's all rumor."
Packers cornerback Al Harris told ESPN that he's talked with Favre and Brett indicated to him that he has the itch to return and play.
I believe the Packers are quietly hoping Favre changes his mind and stays in retirement. Any thoughts of turning him away is something that won't necessarily be popular with the fans. And releasing or trading Favre to another team would be a P.R. blunder as well.
Fan reaction has strongly supported a Brett Favre return and that's to be expected. He's one of the greatest quarterbacks to every play the game and there's no question he can still play. But Favre's not the Favre of old. He faded down the stretch last season and had a chance to put the Packers in the Super Bowl and couldn't make the big play.
My prediction is this. Brett Favre will stay in retirement. I don't think he'll want to play for another team, he wants to play for the Packers. I also think he wants to be wanted and it appears the Packers don't want him back, which is why I believe he'll stay put.
Hopefully he'll find something to take care of "the itch".