Posted by ESPN.com's Kevin Seifert
The Green Bay Packers have drawn their line in the sand with quarterback Brett Favre. By telling the Associated Press this morning that Favre could return to their team only as a backup, they have crystallized what has grown increasingly clear this week: Favre will never wear a Packers jersey again.
It goes without saying that Favre wouldn't accept a backup role to Aaron Rodgers or anyone else. If that were his only option, he would stay retired.
Favre's only chance of playing in 2008 is through a Packers-approved trade to another team. Packers general manager Ted Thompson and coach Mike McCarthy have committed to Rodgers, and they don't want a smidgeon of public -- or private -- discussion about whether they were wavering on their starting quarterback for this season.
The Packers are so intent on demonstrating that commitment that they have arranged a series of local and national interviews today to state their side of the situation. There has been some discussion that the Packers would ultimately allow Favre to play another season if he pressed the issue. But if it wasn't clear before, it's now obvious: The Packers have moved on from the Brett Favre Era.
UPDATE: Thompson told ESPN.com's John Clayton that the Packers have not told Favre he would be a backup. "We don't know what that role would be," Thompson said.