Brett Favre has eased comfortably into his offseason routine in Mississippi and will make no decision about whether to play another NFL season for several weeks.
"I have the ability to turn it off just like that,'' he said. "I don't feel I have anything else to prove. Do I have to redeem myself for the last five games? No. I could be trying to do that until I'm 60 years old. There is nothing left out there for me from that standpoint. I'm disappointed with the last five games, sure, but I know I did everything I could have.'
"I didn't play as well down the stretch. It was probably a little bit of everything. It's hard for me, but I have to say I gave out down the stretch.''
Favre remains disappointed that the New York Jets faltered late in the season and squandered an opportunity to make the playoffs, and says his personal failure was largely responsible for the team's demise.
Favre did not totally blame the torn biceps tendon in his right arm for his decline. He said there was not pain on every throw and that when there was discomfort, it often lasted for just a play or two. But the 39-year-old admits he lost some ability to predict the accuracy of his throws.
"I'm not going to make any excuses,'' he said. "If I'm going to play, then I have a responsibility to play at a high level, and I just didn't get it done. I tried to be the best leader I could be, do all the right things and, as I look back, I have no regrets. I wish we would have gone farther, but I did all I could.''
Favre said he intends to follow the directions of Jets general manager Mike Tannenbaum and remove himself completely from even thinking about football before they discuss whether he will return to the Jets.
"He said he's not going to bother me for three or four weeks,'' Favre said. "He told me to do whatever and he'd give me a call in a month. Maybe I will tell him my answer that day. But he told me to get away and don't even think about football.''
Favre said that if he does decide to announce his retirement
from the NFL for a second straight offseason that he will do so differently. He plans to make a quiet decision without a public news conference, such as the one he held upon finishing his 16 years with the Green Bay Packers, in which he became choked with emotion.
"I'm an emotional guy, and I'm sure people are tired of seeing me get emotional,'' he said. "People would probably say, 'Oh, here he goes again.' I think it would just be better for me to just thank the Jets, and I sincerely mean that. It was well worth what I invested. But I'm going to just quietly step away if that's what happens.''
Favre said he told Jets fullback Tony Richardson that he hopes the criticism of teammates Thomas Jones and Kerry Rhodes were not reflective of the feeling other Jets players have of Favre's season with them.
"I told Tony that the one thing that most concerned me was that I wanted to play well, but I wanted to fit in,'' Favre said. "I was always 'The Guy' in Green Bay even through a lot of turnover, and I remained the same and feel like I left a good impression there from that standpoint. That's what I wanted to do in New York. I wanted those guys to say whenever I left, 'There's a reason that guy played that long.'
"It's upsetting that a couple of guys have said some negative things, but what can you do? If you poll 99 percent of the guys I played with, I think they would say, 'He was a blast to work with.' I think that's what most guys would say, so it's no sweat.''
Ed Werder is an NFL reporter for ESPN.