Brett Favre says he understands why people might not believe he's really ready to retire. And even he admits that he might get the urge to play when training camp nears.
But, in an interview with ESPN's Ed Werder on Friday, he said he's not coming back to the NFL following his second retirement announcement on Tuesday.
"It's time," he said. "It really is."
Favre retired Tuesday after 18 seasons in the NFL, including 16 with Packers and one with the New York Jets.
"I could still play," Favre told Werder. "I know I can play but I know I can't play at that level."
Favre talked at length about his divorce from the Green Bay Packers, the team he had quarterbacked for 16 seasons, including a 13-3 season and a trip to the NFC Championship game in 2007. Green Bay lost to the New York Giants in a frigid title game.
After the game, Favre said he got the feeling the Packers didn't want him back. "Crickets," he said of the postseason silence coming from Green Bay. "They didn't tell me anything."
So Favre retired in April 2007. He said he had immediate apprehensions. "I knew flying there there [for his teary retirement news conference] ... you're leaving early," he said.
"I knew I still wanted to play," he added later. "Part of me still wanted to play."
Favre was under contract with the Packers, but team team had indicated to him he would be a backup to Aaron Rodgers. Favre said if he wasn't going to start, he said wanted his release – and told Werder he wanted to play for a team that would play against the Packers.
"They wanted to go another direction … they wanted to choose my direction as well and that wasn't fair," Favre said.
Eventually, he thought he was going to be traded to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, a team which played against the Packers in Week 4 of the 2008 season. But at the last minute, he was dealt to the New York Jets.
"[The] most disappointing thing is, 'We don't want you play here and we don't want you play certain teams,' " Favre said. "That made me mad. If not good enough play here let me play against you…if I'm not that good don't worry about it. That's what angered me."
Favre played one season for the Jets, who were 8-3 at one point in the season but lost four of their last five games. Favre struggled late in the season and admitted he got tired, citing tougher travel among other things. The Jets made four West Coast trips in 2008.
He also said that it felt "weird" to play for another team. He said that when he looked at his uniform and helmet the first time he walked into the Jets' locker room, "something just doesn't seem right here."
But he called his time with the Jets a "wonderful experience."
"If you ask me if it was worth it, I'd tell you yeah," he said. "I enjoyed it."
But not enough to play for another season.
"[I] learned a lot about myself," he said. "[And I] learned it was time to hang it up."
Information from ESPN NFL reporter Ed Werder is included in this report