Favre: It's time to move on
Aug 7: The New York Jets' newest addition says he is there to help the team win.
CLEVELAND - Stepping down from the dais after a news conference where he didn’t shed a single tear, Brett Favre squeezed the green No. 4 jersey in his hands.
Before the door to New York’s locker room was shut, the Jets’ new quarterback was asked one final question.
“Brett, is this a one-year commitment?” he was asked.
“We’ll see,” Favre said.
Goodbye, Green Bay. Hello, Gotham.
Favre closed a summer of discontent and opened a new chapter in his Hall of Fame career on Thursday by joining the New York Jets, who stunned the NFL by outbidding the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and trading a future draft pick to the Packers for the 38-year-old superstar.
One of the toughest to ever line up under center, Favre showed the slightest bit of anxiety about leaving the Pack after 16 seasons.
“To a certain degree, I don’t know what I’m getting into,” he said.
Favre brings instant relevance to the Jets, who went 4-12 last season and haven’t had a quarterback of his stature since Joe Namath ruled Manhattan more than 30 years ago.
Favre, though, isn’t trying to match Joe Willie.
“I’m here for one reason. Not to do commercials, Broadway all those things,” Favre said before the Jets rallied to beat the Browns 24-20 in their exhibition opener. “I’m here to help the Jets win.”
The three-time league MVP is expected to practice with his new teammates for the first time on Saturday, but there’s plenty to do before taking the field.
On Friday, Favre will be welcomed to New York by Mayor Michael Bloomberg during a morning ceremony at City Hall. Then, he’ll begin devouring the Jets’ playbook, which will have different terminology than the one in Green Bay he knew so well. Favre even joked that he’s looking forward to his first conditioning test after being away from football longer than he has since high school.
“I’m a little out of shape, compared to the other guys,” he said. “The last 24 hours have been crazy. This offseason has been bizarre. But I’m excited by this opportunity.”
As for New York and all its trappings, Favre says bring it on.
“I know how tough it can be,” he said. “And I know how great it can be in this city. Am I ready to face it, handle it, deal with it? I think so. I think it’s a great opportunity. It can be as good as you want to make it.”
Five months after a tearful goodbye, Favre, who won a Super Bowl title and set all sorts of records before his acrimonious split with the Packers, is starting over. He’s now part of a rebuilding Jets team which has been reduced to second-stringer status in New York behind the Super Bowl champion Giants.
Dressed casually in cargo shorts, a gray T-shirt and new white baseball cap bearing a green “NY” logo, Favre capped a whirlwind day and arrived at Browns Stadium a little after 6 p.m. On his way to the Jets locker room, he recalled a few previous visits to Cleveland with the Packers before meeting with New York coach Eric Mangini, who is a year younger than his new QB.
Favre was then joined by Jets chairman and CEO Woody Johnson and general manager Mike Tannenbaum. During his drawn-out divorce with the Packers, Favre said he had been reluctant to speak with Tannenbaum because he was certain the GM would be able to sell him on joining the Jets.
“He’s convincing,” Favre said, drawing a smile from Tannenbaum. “I know this team had a lot of talent.”
Madden on the Favre trade
On KCBS radio, John Madden says the Jets could have a shot at the Wild Card with Favre at the helm.
Olbermann and Patrick on the Favre trade
Aug. 7: Countdown’s Keith Olbermann talks with his former SportsCenter partner Dan Patrick about the Green Bay Packers’ decision to trade quarterback Brett Favre to the New York Jets.
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