Brett Favre (born October 10, 1969) was the starting quarterback for the Green Bay Packers of the National Football League (NFL) from 1992-2007. He also played a single season each for the Atlanta Falcons (1991), New York Jets (2008) and two years with the Minnesota Vikings (2009-2010). Favre started at the quarterback position for the University of Southern Mississippi for four years before being selected in the second round of the 1991 NFL Draft by Atlanta (33rd overall). After one season, he was traded to Green Bay on February 10, 1992, for the 19th pick in the 1992 NFL Draft.
Favre became the Packers' starting quarterback in the fourth game of the 1992 season, starting every game through the 2007 season. While with the Packers, Favre broke many Packers and NFL records including: most career touchdown passes, most career passing yards, most career pass completions, most career pass attempts, most career interceptions thrown, most consecutive starts, and most career victories as a starting quarterback.
He is the only player to win the AP NFL Most Valuable Player Award three consecutive times (1995–97). He has led teams to eight division championships (1995, 1996, 1997, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2007, and 2009), five NFC Championship Games (1995, 1996, 1997, 2007, and 2009), winning two (1996 and 1997), and two Super Bowl appearances, winning one (Super Bowl XXXI).
He was traded to the New York Jets as the starting quarterback for the 2008 season, and subsequently signed with the Vikings on August 18, 2009 as their starting quarterback. As of the 2010 season, he has made an NFL record 297 consecutive starts (321 including playoffs). This video should help illustrate his greatness: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fi8J0x7Yv0c
Atlanta Falcons (1991)Edit
Favre was drafted by the Atlanta Falcons in the second round, 33rd overall in the 1991 NFL Draft. On July 19, 1991, Favre agreed to a three-year, $1.4 million contract with a reported signing bonus of $350,000. Atlanta coach Jerry Glanville did not approve of the drafting of Favre, saying it would take a plane crash for him to put Favre into the game. Favre's first pass in an NFL regular season game resulted in an interception returned for a touchdown. He only attempted four passes in his career at Atlanta, was intercepted twice, and completed none of them.
The Green Bay Packers general manager Ron Wolf traded a first–round pick (19th overall, RB Tony Smith, Southern Miss) for Favre during the following off-season. Wolf, while an assistant to the general manager of the New York Jets, had intended to take Favre in the 1991 NFL draft, but Favre was taken by the Falcons on the previous pick.
According to the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel and other sources, during the physical after the trade, Favre was diagnosed with avascular necrosis of the hip, the same degenerative condition that ended Bo Jackson's football career, and doctors recommended his physical be failed, which would nullify the trade. Wolf overruled them.
Green Bay Packers (1992–2007)Edit
Brett Favre played 16 seasons in Green Bay. During his time in Green Bay, Favre was the first NFL player to win three consecutive AP MVP awards. The only player to win four AP MVP Awards is Peyton Manning. He helped the Packers appear in two Super Bowls, winning Super Bowl XXXI. Favre also started every Green Bay Packers game from September 20, 1992, to January 20, 2008.
In the second game of the 1992 season, the Packers played the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Buccaneers were leading 17–0 at halftime when head coach Mike Holmgren benched starting quarterback Don Majkowski and Favre played the second half. On his first regular season play as a Packer, Favre threw a pass that was deflected and caught by himself. Favre was tackled and the completion went for −7 yards. The Packers lost the game 31–3, chalking up only 106 yards passing.
In the third game of the 1992 season, Majkowski injured a ligament in his ankle against the Cincinnati Bengals, an injury severe enough that he would be out for four weeks. Favre replaced Majkowski for the remainder of the contest. Favre fumbled four times during the course of the game, a performance poor enough that the crowd chanted for Favre to be removed in favor of another Packers backup quarterback at the time, Ty Detmer. However, down 23–17 with 1:07 left in the game, the Packers started an offensive series on their own 8-yard line. Still at the quarterback position, Favre completed a 42-yard pass to Sterling Sharpe. Three plays later, Favre threw the game–winning touchdown pass to Kitrick Taylor with 13 seconds remaining.
The next week's game against the Pittsburgh Steelers began the longest consecutive starts streak for a quarterback in NFL history. The game ended in a 17–3 victory and his passer rating was 144.6. During the season, Favre helped put together a six-game winning streak for the Packers, the longest winning streak for the club since 1965. They ended 9–7 that season, missing the playoffs on their last game. Favre finished his first season as a Packer with 3,227 yards and a quarterback rating of 85.3, helping him to his first Pro Bowl.
The following season Favre helped the Packers to their first playoff berth since 1982 and was named to his second Pro Bowl. After the season Favre became a free agent. General manager Ron Wolf negotiated Favre into a five-year, $19 million contract.
The Packers finished the 1994 season 9–7, advancing them to the playoffs in back to back years, a feat they had not accomplished since the Vince Lombardi era.
MVPs and Super Bowl seasons (1995–1997)Edit
In 1995, Favre won the first of his three AP NFL Most Valuable Player awards. Favre led the Packers to an 11–5 record, Green Bay's best record in nearly thirty years. Favre passed for a career high of 4,413 yards, 38 touchdowns, and recorded a quarterback rating of 99.5, which was the highest of his career until he recorded a rating of 107.2 during the 2009 season. The Packers advanced to the NFC Championship Game after upsetting the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC Divisional Game. The Packers lost the NFC Championship game to the Dallas Cowboys, marking the third year in a row the Packers season was ended by the Cowboys in the playoffs. Favre helped the Packers advance farther in the playoffs than any other Packer team since 1967, the season the Packers won Super Bowl II.
While being treated for various injuries, Brett Favre developed an addiction to Vicodin, which became publicly known when he suffered a seizure during a hospital visit. Amid an NFL investigation, he went public to avoid any rumors about his condition. In May 1996, he went into treatment and remained in rehabilitation for 46 days. Had he chosen not to go, the NFL would have imposed a $900,000 fine. Favre led the Packers to their best season in 30 years in the 1996 season, winning his second consecutive MVP award in the process. The Packers led the NFL in points scored as well as fewest points scored against. Green Bay tied the Denver Broncos for the NFL's best regular season record, 13–3, defeated the San Francisco 49ers and Carolina Panthers at Lambeau Field in the playoffs. The Packers advanced to Super Bowl XXXI at the Louisiana Superdome, a short drive from Favre's hometown.
In Super Bowl XXXI, Favre completed 14 of 27 passes for 246 yards and 2 touchdowns. On the second play of the game, Favre threw a 54-yard touchdown pass to receiver Andre Rison. Favre also completed an 81-yard touchdown pass to Antonio Freeman in the second quarter (then a Super Bowl record). Favre rushed for 12 yards and another touchdown, as the Packers won Super Bowl XXXI over the New England Patriots, 35–21. In their 19 games of the season, the Packers had a turnover ratio of plus 24, and outscored their opponents 100–48 in the playoffs.
Favre and the Packers continued their dominance of the NFC during the next season. Favre was named AP co-MVP of the league along with Detroit Lions' running back Barry Sanders, his third straight award. Also, Green Bay advanced through the playoffs to the Super Bowl for the second year in a row. After being heavily favored by 13 points, the Packers lost to the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl XXXII by the score of 31–24 at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego, ending the NFC's 13-year Super Bowl winning streak. Favre completed 25 of 42 passes for 256 yards and 3 touchdowns, with 1 interception in the losing effort.
The Packers lost to the San Francisco 49ers in a wild card playoff game in 1998. Favre had rallied the team with a touchdown pass to Antonio Freeman with 1:56 remaining in the game to put the Packers up 27–23. However, Steve Young responded with a touchdown of his own to Terrell Owens with three seconds remaining to end the Packers season. Favre and the Packers failed for the first time since 1994 to at least reach the NFC championship game.
In the regular season finale of 2001, Favre was the target of minor controversy when, in a game against the New York Giants at Giants Stadium, he was sacked by the Giants defensive end Michael Strahan. It was Strahan's lone sack of the game and gave him the NFL's single–season sack record of 22.5, which topped Mark Gastineau's record of 22 set in 1984. The controversy has followed Strahan continuously since he set the record. Jim Fassel, Strahan's coach in 2001, said that when a respected athlete like Strahan gets close to an all-time record, sometimes opponents want him to break it. On March 1, 2001, Favre signed a "lifetime" contract extension, which technically was a 10-year contract extension worth around $100 million.
Favre and the Packers continued posting positive results through the next few seasons. Through the 2004 season, the Packers had the longest streak of non-losing seasons (13) in the NFL, despite an 8–8 record under coach Ray Rhodes, a 9–7 season under coach Mike Sherman, and no playoff berths in either 1999 or 2000. The streak ended in 2005, with the Packers finishing 4–12 overall.
Later career and personal tragedies (2003–06)Edit
One day after his father died of a heart attack or stroke, Favre decided to play in a December 22, 2003, Monday Night Football game against the Oakland Raiders. The Packers traveled to Oakland where Favre passed for four touchdowns in the first half and 399 total yards in a 41–7 victory over the Raiders on international television (even receiving applause from "Raider Nation"). He completed 73.3% of his passes and finished the game with a passer rating of 154.9 with having recorded a perfect 158.3 rating with four touchdowns and over 250 yards passing by halftime (a feat accomplished by only four other passers in NFL history). Afterwards, Favre said, "I knew that my dad would have wanted me to play. I love him so much and I love this game. It's meant a great deal to me, to my dad, to my family, and I didn't expect this kind of performance. But I know he was watching tonight." He then went to his father's funeral in Pass Christian, Mississippi. Favre won an ESPY Award for his Monday Night Football performance.
A notable game in the 2004 season in which Favre and the Packers finished 10–6 was against the New York Giants. During the game, Favre suffered a concussion. He did not receive medical clearance to re-enter the game. Despite the concussion, Favre threw a 28-yard touchdown to Javon Walker on a fourth down play. Afterwards it was reported that Favre did not remember throwing the touchdown pass. Favre also had two significant touchdown streaks of note during the season. He had completed at least one touchdown pass in 36 consecutive games over the 2002–2004 seasons which at the time was the second longest streak in NFL history. Also, during the 2004 post-season, he broke Dan Marino's record for consecutive games with at least one touchdown pass in the post season. Favre went on to throw a touchdown pass in twenty consecutive playoff games which is still an NFL record.
After the death of his father, a series of events related to Favre's family were reported in the media. In October 2004, ten months after the death of Favre's father, his brother-in-law, Casey Tynes, was killed in an all-terrain vehicle accident on Favre's Mississippi property.
Soon after in 2004, Favre's wife, Deanna Favre, was diagnosed with breast cancer. Following aggressive treatment through 2004, she recovered. She created The Deanna Favre Hope Foundation which supports breast cancer education and women's breast imaging and diagnosis services for all women, including those who are medically underserved.
In late August 2005, Favre's family suffered another setback: Hurricane Katrina blew through Mississippi, destroying his family's home there; however, none of his family members were injured. Brett and Deanna's property in Hattiesburg, Mississippi was also extensively damaged by the storm. Favre elected to continue to play in the 2005 season.
For the 2005 season, despite throwing for over 3,000 yards for a record 14th consecutive time, Favre had a below average season with only 20 touchdown passes and a league-leading 29 interceptions. The loss of guards Marco Rivera and Mike Wahle to free agency along with key injuries to Javon Walker, Ahman Green, Bubba Franks, among others, hampered Favre and the team. His passer rating was 70.9, 31st in the NFL and the worst single season rating of his career. After the disappointing season, many speculated that Favre would retire. However, on April 26, 2006, Favre announced that he would remain with the team for the 2006 season. Despite earlier comments that the 2006 season would be his last, Favre announced in a press conference on May 6, 2006, that he had not ruled out the possibility of returning beyond the 2006 season.
In the 2006 season, Favre suffered his first career shutout against the Chicago Bears. Later in the season, the New England Patriots shut out the Packers in a game where he was injured before halftime and could not complete the game. On September 24, 2006, he became just the second quarterback in NFL history to record 400 touchdown passes (Dan Marino being the first). He connected with rookie wide receiver Greg Jennings on a 5-yard pass that Jennings turned into a 75-yard touchdown play during a win against the Detroit Lions. He also became the first player ever to complete 5,000 passes in his career. On December 31, 2006, the Packers played their last game of the season, winning 26–7 against the Chicago Bears. It was his 22nd career win versus the Bears, moving him to an all-time record of 22–8.
Milestone season (2007)Edit
On February 26, 2007, Brett Favre underwent minor arthroscopic ankle surgery in Green Bay, Wisconsin to remove a buildup of bone spurs in his left ankle. Favre began the 2007 season trailing in a number of career NFL passing records. On September 16, 2007, Favre and the Packers defeated the New York Giants to give Favre his record setting 149th win, passing John Elway. On September 30, Favre threw a 16-yard touchdown pass to Greg Jennings in a game against the Vikings. This was his 421st NFL touchdown pass, and set a new all-time record, surpassing Dan Marino's 420. On November 4, 2007, after the Packers defeated the Kansas City Chiefs 33–22, Favre became only the 3rd quarterback to have defeated all thirty-one other current NFL teams. He joined Peyton Manning and Tom Brady as the only quarterbacks in NFL history to do this, just the week after the two of them achieved the accomplishment. On Thanksgiving 2007, Favre led the Packers to a 37–26 win over the Lions, and brought the Packers to a 10–1 record. He won the Galloping Gobbler award, given by the broadcasters at Fox to the game MVP. Favre threw three touchdown passes for his 63rd career game with at least three touchdowns, surpassing Marino's former record of 62. Favre led the Packers to a 13–3 regular season record, the NFC North championship, and the second seed in the NFC playoffs. Prior to the Packers' playoff game against the Seattle Seahawks, Favre stated his desire to continue playing football for another season. In the Divisional Playoffs, Favre threw three touchdowns as the Packers cruised to a 42–20 victory over the Seahawks at a snowy Lambeau Field. The Packers' season ended the following week when they suffered a 23–20 overtime loss in the NFC Championship Game to the eventual Super Bowl Champion New York Giants. Negotiating sub-zero temperatures, Favre amassed 236 passing yards and two touchdowns, but also threw an interception in overtime that set up the Giants' game-winning field goal. Favre's 90-yard touchdown pass to Donald Driver in the second quarter was the longest pass in Packers playoff history, and it extended Favre's NFL record for consecutive postseason games with a touchdown pass to 18. Favre stated after the game that he would make a decision more quickly than he has in the past regarding whether he would return for another season.
Favre's milestone 2007 season culminated with his selection to the 2008 Pro Bowl as the starting quarterback for the NFC, but an ankle injury forced him to withdraw.
Retirements and returns (2008)Edit
Beginning near the end of the 2006 season, word began to surface that Favre was considering retirement. In fact, playing in Soldier Field against the arch-rival Bears in the season finale, Favre was given a standing ovation in the closing seconds of the Packer victory as a show of respect from Chicago fans to their longtime nemesis. Moments later at the postgame interview, he gave a tearful interview with an NBC Sports correspondent, where he admitted his future was still questionable. However, after much debate, he returned for 2007, during which his future was once again in doubt and an oft-discussed topic, with many in the media speculating that if the Packers made the Super Bowl, Favre would indeed retire and hand the reins to the unproven but talented Aaron Rodgers, who was drafted two years earlier as Favre's heir-apparent. Ultimately, the Packers fell in the NFC Championship to the New York Giants (who in turn upset the heavily favored New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLII).
On March 4, 2008, Favre formally announced his retirement. Although Favre stated that he had been willing to play another year, he felt that another season would only be successful if he led his team to another Super Bowl victory. He added the chances for a Super Bowl win were small, and that he was not up for the challenge. At his press conference, Favre openly wept about leaving the NFL. He stated that his decision, regardless of what was being said in the media, had nothing to do with what the Packers did or didn't do. Seeming to contradict statements made by his agent, Bus Cook, Favre said that his decision to retire was based on the fact that he did not want to play anymore. He said during the conference, "I know I can play, but I don't think I want to. And that's really what it comes down to."
On July 2, 2008, it was reported that Favre was in contact with the Packers about a possible return to the team. On July 11, 2008, Favre sent a letter to the Packers asking for his unconditional release to allow him to play for another NFL team. Packers general manager Ted Thompson announced he would not grant Favre an unconditional release and reaffirmed the organization's commitment to Aaron Rodgers as its new quarterback. Complicating matters was Favre's unique contract giving him the leverage to void any potential trade by not reporting to the camp of the team he might be traded to if the Packers elect to go that route.
Favre spoke publicly for the first time about his potential comeback in a July 14, 2008, interview with Greta Van Susteren on the Fox News Channel's On the Record with Greta Van Susteren. In the interview, Favre said he was "guilty of retiring early", that he was "never fully committed" to retirement, and that he was pressured by the Packers to make a decision before the NFL Draft and the start of the free agent signing period. Favre disputed the notion that he does not want to play for Green Bay and said that while he understands the organization has decided to move on, they should now allow him to do the same. He made clear that he would not return to the Packers as a backup and reiterated his desire to be released rather than traded, which would allow him the freedom to play for a competitive team. Favre also accused the Packers of being dishonest, wishing the team would have been straightforward with him and the public. In the second part of the interview, which aired on July 15, Favre expressed his frustration with Packer management, spoke of his sympathy for successor Aaron Rodgers' predicament, and affirmed he is 100 percent committed to playing football in 2008.
FOXSports.com's Jay Glazer reported on July 16, 2008, that the Packers filed tampering charges against the Minnesota Vikings with the league office, alleging improper communication between Vikings offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell and Favre, although one source suggested that Favre may have been in contact with Vikings head coach Brad Childress. After an investigation, Commissioner Roger Goodell ruled there had been no violation of tampering rules.
Favre formally filed for reinstatement with the NFL on July 29, 2008, and his petition was granted by Commissioner Goodell, effective August 4, 2008. Favre then flew to Green Bay to report to Packers training camp. After a lengthy meeting with head coach Mike McCarthy and general manager Ted Thompson, however, both sides agreed it was time for Favre and the organization to part ways. McCarthy sensed Favre was not in "the right mind-set" to resume playing for the Packers, while Favre felt that his relationship with Packer management had deteriorated to the point that a return to the team would be untenable.
The Packers had announced plans to retire Favre's No. 4 jersey in the 2008 season opener. Those plans were dropped when he announced plans to return to the NFL. In March 2009, the Packers indicated that the team still intends to retire Favre's number, but due to the circumstances surrounding his departure from the team, no timeline had been set.
New York Jets (2008)Edit
After negotiations with both the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and New York Jets, the Packers traded Favre to the Jets on August 7, 2008, in exchange for a conditional fourth-round pick in the 2009 draft with performance escalation. Favre's season with the Jets started well; in week four of the 2008 season, he threw six touchdowns against the Arizona Cardinals, a personal best and one fewer than the NFL record.
By week 12, the Jets had compiled an 8–3 record, including a win over the previously undefeated Tennessee Titans. However, the Jets lost four of the last five games of the season, including the final game against the Miami Dolphins, who had acquired Chad Pennington after he was released from the Jets to make room for Favre. In those five games, Favre threw eight interceptions and only two touchdown passes, bringing his season total to twenty-two of each. Favre had complained of shoulder pain and had an MRI performed on December 29, 2008, which revealed a torn biceps tendon in his right shoulder. After the 2008 season had ended, in mid-January 2009, Favre told Jets General Manager Mike Tannenbaum, "it may be time to look in a different direction" regarding the quarterback position. On February 11, 2009, Favre informed the Jets that he was retiring after 18 seasons. He remained property of the New York Jets organization, until April 28, 2009, when the Jets released Favre from his contract, thus allowing him to sign anywhere he wanted. By May 2009, he was officially cut from the Jets Reserve/Retired list.
Minnesota Vikings (2009-2010) Edit
Favre officially signed with the Minnesota Vikings on August 18, 2009. He would go on to have a landmark season in which he surpassed former Vikings defensive end Jim Marshall for consecutive starts at one position, with 291, became the first quarterback in NFL history to defeat every one of the league's 32 franchises since the NFL first expanded to 32 franchises in 2002, surpassed Dan Marino's previous record for four-touchdown games, and was named to his 11th Pro Bowl. The Vikings finished 12-4 and advanced to the NFC Championship game, ultimately losing in overtime to the eventual Super Bowl champion New Orleans Saints. In that game, with the Vikings in field goal range and a chance to win the game, Favre threw an interception that sent the game into overtime. Despite the loss, Favre set playoff records for pass completions and passing yards previously held by Joe Montana.
On August 3, 2010, NBC Sports reported the confirmation of Brett Favre returning to the Minnesota Vikings but saying that the 2010 season would be his final season. An announcement was given on August 17, 2010 confirming his return to the team. That season, Brett Favre achieved two milestones. He threw for his 500th touchdown and 70,000th yard against the New York Jets. On November 7, 2010, in a game against the Arizona Cardinals, Favre threw for a career high 446 yards while rallying the Vikings from a 14-point 4th quarter deficit to win in overtime. On December 5, 2010, in a game against the Buffalo Bills, Favre was hit by Bills linebacker Arthur Moats while making a throw, causing him to sustain a sprain of the AC joint in his right shoulder. Favre missed the rest of the game and was replaced by Tarvaris Jackson who led the Vikings to victory despite throwing three interceptions. On December 13, 2010, due to his sprained shoulder, Brett Favre was marked inactive for the game against the New York Giants ending his consecutive regular season start streak at 297. Favre started a total of 321 games including post-season appearances. On December 20, 2010 while playing the Chicago Bears outside at TCF Bank Stadium due to the collapse of the roof of the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome, Favre sustained a concussion after being sacked by Bears defensive end Corey Wootton. This would be his final appearance in an NFL game. On January 2, 2011, Favre was unable to play against the Detroit Lions in the final game of the regular NFL season due to his inability to pass NFL-mandated post-concussion tests. In a press conference immediately following the game, Favre announced his intention to retire from professional football. On January 17, 2011, Favre officially filed his retirement papers with the NFL.
Post NFL LifeEdit
In retirement, Favre has made occasional public appearances. He was the offensive coordinator at Oak Grove High School in Hattiesburg, Mississippi for two years, winning a state title in 2013. In 2015, he was inducted into the Packers Hall Fame in July and had his number 4 jersey retired on Thanksgiving night against the Chicago Bears. He is the sixth Packer to have his jersey number retired. On February 6, 2016, Favre was elected into the Pro Football Hall of Fame as a member of the class of 2016.
- Career statistics and player information from