Brett Favre in advance of Packers HOF induction: Exit 'was just hard'

GREEN BAY, Wis. -- We may never know everything that happened in the summer of 2008, when Brett Favre and the Packers divorced, but here's what the legendary former quarterback was thinking when he left Lambeau Field for the last time as a member of the organization on Aug. 5 of that year:

"I think at some point what crossed my mind was, 'How did it ever get to this point?'" Favre said in a phone interview in advance of his July 18 induction into the Packers Hall of Fame. "To be arguably one of the most successful players in Packers history, and I would think [a player who was] well-received by the fans, especially up to that point, you're just thinking, 'How did it get to this point?'

"Of course, we've talked about that, and I take my share of the blame as well, but it was just hard. It was a surreal feeling."

Whatever actually happened in Favre's final meetings with coach Mike McCarthy and general manager Ted Thompson -- there were reports that it was heated -- may forever remain private. But, according to Favre, it quickly became apparent that he would never again play for the Packers.

"It was for the most part cordial," Favre said of the meetings. "It was like, 'What do we do?' That was the million-dollar question, I guess. I got a sense that there wasn't many options on my part. It was frustrating, and I know it was frustrating for them as well.

"When I left, it was like, I don't know if we're any closer than where we need to be when I got there that morning. Emotions were running high, but all in all I think it was pretty cordial, considering the circumstances."

Favre wanted to be released or traded to another team in the NFC North, presumably the Minnesota Vikings. However, the Packers refused both requests.

"I felt like I wasn't good enough to play there but was good enough to not play against them," Favre said, "and that bothered me."

A day later, on Aug. 6, 2008, Favre was traded to the New York Jets.

With Favre set to return to Lambeau Field next week as a member of the Packers organization for the first time in nearly eight years -- he not only will be inducted into the Packers Hall of Fame but also will have his No. 4 retired (it will go up on the stadium façade on Thanksgiving night, when the Packers play the Chicago Bears -- he said his relationship with McCarthy and Thompson has been mended.

In fact, he said he and Thompson, who was a Packers scout when the team acquired Favre in a 1992 trade, kept in contact even after he was traded to the Jets and went on to play for the Vikings. Favre also said he and McCarthy resumed communication after Favre's final retirement following the 2010 season and that his relationship with current quarterback Aaron Rodgers is good.

"Every time I played against Ted or when I was with the Jets and threw six touchdown passes against the Cardinals, which was the only time in my career I ever did that, Ted sent me a message," Favre said. "It was always, 'Nice job. Congratulations. Amazing game.' The day that I left in my meeting with Ted, he has a way of killing you with kindness. He doesn't say a lot, but I've known Ted ever since I got to Green Bay and always got along with him. I can't say that things were mended [at that point], but I responded to texts in a polite way myself. And Mike, there came a point where he and I started exchanging messages, I think it was after I got done playing."