Quarterback Brett Favre told the Minnesota Vikings that he’s retiring after 19 seasons in the National Football League, the Minneapolis Star-Tribune said.
Favre, 40, announced his retirement after each of the previous two seasons, only to return the following summer -- first with the New York Jets and then with the Vikings. He was under contract for $13 million in 2010.
The three-time NFL Most Valuable Player began telling Vikings’ personnel last night that he wouldn’t return, the newspaper reported, citing unidentified people in the league. Vikings coach Brad Childress said he hasn’t heard from Favre directly.
“I’m not a big hearsay person,” Childress said of the retirement reports during his daily media briefing today at training camp in Mankato, Minnesota. “I’m a horse-say person. I’ve got to hear it from the horse’s mouth.”
Favre’s agent, Bus Cook, didn’t immediately return a telephone message.
Favre threw 33 touchdowns and seven interceptions last season in leading the Vikings to a 12-4 record. Minnesota came within a win of the Super Bowl, losing to the New Orleans Saints 31-28 in overtime in the National Football Conference championship game.
Favre had surgery in May to remove scar tissue and bone spurs from his left ankle. He wasn’t with the Vikings when they opened training camp on July 29.
Favre, who spent 16 seasons with the Green Bay Packers, holds career NFL records for passing yards (69,329), touchdowns (497) and interceptions (317).
His 181 wins are the most by a starting quarterback and his 309 straight starts -- 285 in the regular season and 24 in the playoffs -- are the most by player at any position.
“That kind of longevity, that grit, that’s a legacy that no one touches,” Hall of Fame quarterback Steve Young, now an NFL analyst for ESPN, said on the network. “We all just kind of bow to it, because it’s an amazing thing.”
If Favre doesn’t return, Tarvaris Jackson or Sage Rosenfels would probably be the starting quarterback when the Vikings open the regular season on Sept. 9 in New Orleans against the Super Bowl champion Saints.