Favre told reporters today that he did have a conversation with Jets general manager Mike Tannenbaum -- whom Favre still considers a good friend -- new coach Rex Ryan and owner Woody Johnson prior to the 2009 NFL Draft in which the Jets owner and GM asked Favre about returning for another year.
Favre said he was leaning towards retirement then, with a torn biceps that required surgery. The Jets moved on with Mark Sanchez and Favre moved on with the Vikings, where he wanted to be all along after his run with the Packers ended.
"At that time I had a torn bicep, I didn’t really know what I wanted to do," he said. "I really felt like the writing was on the wall; here I am, pushing 40, with a torn bicep. I felt like that was the wakeup call I was looking for.
"They had asked if I wanted to come back and I was like, ‘I don’t know if I want to go through a surgery,’ all that stuff. I thought a lot of Rex before then. I really didn’t know him. I played against a lot of his defenses, and obviously the guys love him. He’s brash, the guys seem to respond to him well. I knew that would have been a very good experience.
"I knew the potential of that team. Now, it’s really, really showing. You can ask Darrelle this: When I first got there, it didn’t take long before I singled him out. I told him, ‘Hey man, the sky’s the limit. You’re one of the best corners I’ve ever seen.’ No one really knew who he was at that point. Then I saw him at the ESPYs and I told him, “I told you. I told you. You’re a great player.’"
Favre said he doesn't know what sort of reception he'll get on Monday night in the Meadowlands.
"It was one year, and I think, I would hope, like any place I played, people appreciate the effort I gave," he said. "Trust me, I take a lot of the blame, as a quarterback should, and we probably get way too much glory. But I did all I could do. I hope they appreciate that. I know I’m coming in as an opponent. But, from a future standpoint, it’s really worked out well for them."
Favre also had high praise for Sanchez.
"In the end, no one can argue this -- they had to go, like any team, they had to go in a direction where they’re grooming someone. Had I come back that year, they probably don’t draft Mark," Favre said. "It’s still early, but the guy has played great, he’s shown great leadership. He’s fit into the team and that city well. It’s really worked out for them. I give Mike Tannenbaum a lot of credit. He rolls the dice, he takes chances. You really don’t know if those decisions are going to pan out, but you don’t know if you don’t try.
"I think the sky’s the limit for Mark; he’s only going to get better. Schotty’s a heck of a coach and will do a great job with him, as he’s done."
And here's Favre on finally teaming with Randy Moss, whom Favre begged Packers GM Ted Thompson to trade for before Moss went from the Raiders to the Patriots during the 2007 draft.
"I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t excited about the opportunity to play with Randy, and that dates back several years," Favre said. "How could you not be excited about playing with a player who has been dominant throughout his career? It’s like LT, for Mark Sanchez and the guys on that team being able to play with someone of his caliber.
"I could not tell you how the season will unfold. One guy doesn’t guarantee one thing or the other. I’m excited about it -- he’s a difference-maker. We still have to make the plays."