Brett Favre is back -- for the third and what he says is the last time.
Favre officially rejoined the Minnesota Vikings today after three of his teammates traveled to Hattiesburg, Mississippi, to find out about the 40-year-old quarterback’s status this season.
Favre practiced today with the team at Eden Prairie, Minnesota, then held a televised news conference to explain why he was returning for his 20th National Football League season after setting every major quarterback record.
“I’m not here to set any records,” he said. “There’s nothing left for me to prove. I’m here to have fun and help these people win. I really enjoy these guys and I think the feeling is mutual.”
He also said there would be no further comebacks.
“Twenty years and I’m done,” Favre said. “This is the last year of my contract. I’m sure a lot of people will say, ‘Yes!’ I’ll give it one more try and regardless how it ends I’ll leave on top.”
The Minneapolis Star-Tribune said the Vikings would increase Favre’s contract to $16.5 million from the scheduled $13 million, with incentives that may push it to $20 million.
Favre missed training camp and the Vikings’ first preseason game while trying to decide whether to come back. He has been bothered by pain during recuperation from offseason ankle surgery.
“All in all, my ankle is a little better,” he said.
Vikings offensive lineman Steve Hutchinson, defensive end Jared Allen and kicker Ryan Longwell flew to Favre’s hometown at the request of the team to meet with the three-time league Most Valuable Player.
Favre announced his retirement after each of the past two seasons, only to return the following summer -- first with the New York Jets and then with the Vikings.
On Aug. 2, three days after the start of training camp, the Star-Tribune reported that Favre informed Vikings personnel via text message that he wouldn’t return.
Favre, who had surgery in May to remove scar tissue and bone spurs from his left ankle, later said he had yet to reach a decision. The Vikings open the season on Sept. 9 in New Orleans against the Super Bowl-champion Saints.
Favre threw 33 touchdown passes and seven interceptions last season, leading the Vikings to a 12-4 record. Minnesota lost to the Saints 31-28 in overtime in the National Football Conference championship game.
Favre, who spent 16 seasons with the Green Bay Packers, holds NFL career records for yards passing (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 a player at any position.