The Green Bay Packers' relationship with Brett Favre has been on rocky terms since the legendary quarterback left the franchise before the 2008 season, but an unlikely source seems to be spearheading a reconciliation.
That source? Favre's replacement in Green Bay, Aaron Rodgers.
Appearing on The Jim Rome Show Wednesday, Rodgers said that he hopes that Favre can have his number retired by the Packers before he's inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
"I look forward to him being back in the fold, as Mark Murphy has said," Rodgers said, per ESPN. "I think it's time for our fans, this organization and Brett to heal through this and to move forward together before he gets the greatest honor of being inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame."
Favre, who retired following the 2010-11 season, is eligible to make the Hall of Fame in 2016.
Rodgers and Favre themselves have quite the history. The Packers drafted Rodgers in the first round of the 2005 NFL draft as the heir apparent to Favre, who had been flirting with retirement. Favre wound up returning to Green Bay and playing the next three seasons with Rodgers waiting in the wings.
When Favre finally retired, then un-retired before the 2008 season, the Packers did the unthinkable at the time: They chose the younger Rodgers. Green Bay then jettisoned Favre to the New York Jets, fraying what had been one of the most special relationships in the entire league.
The relationship devolved even further—especially among fans—once Favre joined the rival Minnesota Vikings in 2009. He spent two seasons with the Vikings, leading them to the NFC Championship his first year in Minneapolis.
By the time Favre retired, he was almost as reviled in Wisconsin as he once was beloved. Rodgers, charismatic and an NFL great in his own right, had made most Packers fans move on from the Favre era and a chill went over the relationship.
The Packers, Favre and Rodgers have worked to thaw out that chilled relationship in the year-plus since No. 4's retirement. They made a surprise appearance together at the NFL Honors awards show in February to present Peyton Manning with his Comeback Player of the Year award.
Following the dual appearance, the first public proclamations of a reconciliation between the Packers and Favre became clear. Rodgers said on his radio show in February that he hoped to "heal things up and [to] move forward."
Packers CEO Mark Murphy spoke earlier this month with Fox Sports Wisconsin and made it clear that the former face of the franchise would be welcomed back—seemingly whenever he's ready.
"We want to have (Favre) back in the family," Murphy said.
As for whether Favre wants to come back and have his jersey retired, that's unclear. There are some members of the organization still around—namely Ted Thompson—from his ouster and there could be a little resentment still inside.
However, Favre's quote on NFL Network in February seemed to indicate he's more than open to coming back to Lambeau.
"I'm not so sure about that. I think some probably want to see it go away,” said Favre (h/t the Journal Sentinel's Bob Wolfley).
“As far as coming back to Green Bay? We'll do it one day."
With Rodgers and the team welcoming Favre with open arms, it seems like "one day" might come sooner than anyone would have thought.
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