Jets release Favre, clear way for possible return

Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Graham
If Brett Favre wants to play football again, he won't need to go through any crazy machinations like he did last year. All the legendary quarterback needs to do is find somebody willing to give him a contract.

The New York Jets on Tuesday night released Favre from the reserve-retired list.

The Jets no longer have any rights to him. Favre would be free to sign with any team if he decided not to retire. The Jets would not owe the Green Bay Packers any compensation pursuant to the conditions of last summer's trade.

In statements released by the Jets, both Favre and Jets general manager Mike Tannenbaum indicated Favre hasn't changed his mind about playing -- yet.

"Nothing has changed," Favre said. "At this time, I am retired and have no intention of returning to football."

At this time. That's a key phrase, especially in a prepared statement. It was inserted on purpose.

"Brett requested his release some time ago," Tannenbaum said. "He has not indicated any desire to return to football, and he remains retired. We wish him the best."

But the fact that Favre requested to be released means he at least wants the option to return with no strings attached.

Favre went through a whole rigmarole last year when he ended his first retirement with the Packers, who refused to cut him and eventually traded him to the Jets in training camp.

Favre finished the year with arm trouble. He said he wasn't going to have the recommended surgery, but we can't be sure what he's been up to the past few months.

His days in the AFC East certainly appear over -- unless he's interested in backing up Tom Brady with the New England Patriots.

The only AFC East team that doesn't have an obvious starting quarterback in place just cut Favre. The Buffalo Bills and Miami Dolphins have their depth charts written in ink.