<
>

Favre clears the air on trade speculation

When the Packers failed to acquire Randy Moss, was Brett Favre angry enough to ask his way out of Green Bay? The three-time NFL MVP said no on Monday.

"I was frustrated a couple weeks back when Randy Moss was traded to New England. I never wanted to be traded and I don't want to be traded. I want to be in Green Bay," Favre said Monday in a statement posted on the team's Web site. "I want to finish my career as a Packer. Sometimes when I get frustrated I let my emotions get the better of me.

"As I said in February when I announced that I was coming back, I am excited about the young talent on our team and the improvements we're going to see from one year to the next. I really enjoy the young guys I'm playing with. I'm working hard down in Mississippi right now, rehabbing, and I plan to be in the best shape of my life.
I look forward to playing with this team and seeing what we can do. I think we can be pretty good."

Amid public grousing from Favre about the state of his team over
the weekend, a report on the Fox Sports Web site, citing anonymous
sources, said Favre's agent called Packers general manager Ted
Thompson to request a trade a few days after last month's draft.

According to the report, Packers coach Mike McCarthy later
called the quarterback and was able to calm his anger, getting
Favre to admit that he didn't really want to play elsewhere.

However, Favre's agent denied Monday that he demanded a trade on behalf of Favre.

"A trade has never been demanded and Brett Favre intends to be the quarterback of the Green Bay Packers," James "Bus" Cook, Favre's long-time agent, told ESPN's Chris Mortensen. "Otherwise, Brett said what he had to say."

However, a Packers source and a source close to Moss told ESPN that the discrepancies in negotiations were over two primary points of contention. The Packers wanted a two-year contract, whereas Moss wanted a one-year deal, which he received from the Patriots for a $3 million base salary and $2 million in incentives.

The Packers wanted to pay Moss $3.5 million in 2007, a team source told ESPN. But a source close to Moss said that only $1.9 million was guarateed in base salary with the remaining $1.6 million based on $100,000 bonuses for every game Moss was on the active 45-man roster. Moss rejected that offer, along with a second year on the contract proposal from the Packers.

The Packers' mandatory minicamp begins Friday, but Favre told The Biloxi (Miss.) Sun-Herald that he won't attend because he is
unable to practice while recovering from offseason ankle surgery. Instead, he's going to stay home with his family in Mississippi.

"They were going to have me sit out anyway," Favre said, in a
story that appeared on the paper's Web site on Tuesday. "To be
honest, we have [daughter] Brittany graduating in two weeks.
Instead of going up there and not doing anything, I will be better
off being at home because of graduation parties and banquets."

Favre said he isn't skipping the minicamp as a protest with the
team's front office.

"I am frustrated," Favre told the paper. "But being
frustrated and not going are not related."

Favre didn't mention anything about wanting a trade in
interviews he conducted during his annual charity golf tournament
in Tunica, Miss. on Saturday. But Favre did make it clear that he
believed the Packers passed on a chance to make "a steal" of a
deal for Moss, who instead was traded from Oakland to New England
April 29.

"It is disappointing," Favre said on Saturday. "We could have gotten him for less money than New England did. He wanted to play in Green Bay for the amount of money we would have paid him. It [was] well worth the risk."

Favre, who has flirted with retirement during the past several
offseasons, told the team in February that he would return for his
17th NFL season.

Favre apparently spoke with Moss on several occasions before the draft. Cook was once Moss' agent as well, and still retains a lesser role representing the wide receiver in contract negotiations. That connection, though, is believed to have played no part in Favre's desire to add Moss to the Packers' passing game.

Instead, the Green Bay quarterback merely felt Moss could still add an explosive dimension to the Packers' offense.

"The last thing I want to do is start any [controversy]," Favre said. "But I think he would have been a great addition. You throw Randy Moss, you throw [current starters] Donald Driver and Greg Jennings on the field at the same time, and go three-wide receiver set ... and I think it's pretty intimidating. And we lost out on that, and I think that it's a shame, because I know we could have had him."

Favre, 37, acknowledged the obvious, that he is nearing the end of his celebrated career, one that will someday earn him a spot in the Hall of Fame. But he emphasized that he can still perform at a high level and that he wants to finish his career a winner.

"I'm not getting any younger and I think everybody knows that," Favre said. "I don't have five years to rebuild. ... I don't know if I've lost faith, and I think everyone in the organization wants to win. I just don't know if it includes me. If it's going to be five years from now, I'm not going to be here. This is 17 years for me and I want to win [now]."

ESPN's Chris Mortensen, ESPN.com's Len Pasquarelli and The Associated Press contributed to this report.