Favre tells Vikings he will stay retired

NEW YORK Tue Jul 28, 2009 7:38pm EDT

New York Jets quarterback Brett Favre reacts during a news conference after their loss to the Miami Dolphins in their NFL football game in East Rutherford, New Jersey, December 28, 2008. REUTERS/Ray Stubblebine

New York Jets quarterback Brett Favre reacts during a news conference after their loss to the Miami Dolphins in their NFL football game in East Rutherford, New Jersey, December 28, 2008.

Credit: Reuters/Ray Stubblebine

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NEW YORK (Reuters) - Quarterback Brett Favre has decided to remain retired and will not join the Minnesota Vikings this season, head coach Brad Childress said on the team's website (www.vikings.com ) Tuesday.

Favre, a three-times league MVP and one of the NFL's greatest quarterbacks, played last season for the New York Jets after 16 seasons with the Green Bay Packers that included two trips to the Super Bowl and one championship trophy.

The 39-year-old had retired from the Jets in February saying he was bothered by a partially torn bicep in his throwing arm, and was released by New York on April 28.

Favre, who had changed his mind frequently about retirement in his twilight years, later negotiated a possible return to the Packers' division rival Vikings.

His retirement decision came one day before players report to Minnesota's training camp in Mankato.

"It was a rare and unique opportunity to consider adding not only a future Hall of Fame quarterback but one that is very familiar with our system and division," Childress said.

"That does not detract from the team that we have. As we have consistently communicated, we feel good about our team and they have put forth a tremendous effort this offseason preparing for the season ahead," he added.

Favre's decision leaves Tarvaris Jackson and Sage Rosenfels to compete for Minnesota's starting quarterback job.

The 18-year veteran, who tested his throwing at home in Hattiesburg, Mississippi this summer to gauge his readiness to return for another NFL season, holds a slew of league records.

The strong-armed quarterback has thrown the most career touchdown passes (464), thrown for the most passing yards (65,127), made the most career pass completions (5,720) and notched the most wins by a quarterback (169).

Perhaps his most impressive record, and one that conveyed the grit possessed by the spirited signal caller, was the 291 consecutive starts he made, including playoff games, at one of the game's most demanding positions.

Favre, who played his rookie year with Atlanta, helped Green Bay win the 1997 Super Bowl against the New England Patriots and led them back to the Big Game the next season where they lost to quarterback John Elway and the Broncos.

Favre announced his retirement from the Packers after guiding them to a 13-3 season and a trip to the NFC Conference championship in January 2008.

When he later reconsidered, Green Bay officials made it clear they had decided to move forward without him.

Favre then signed with the New York Jets and steered them to an 8-3 start before a late season stumble left them 9-7 and out of the playoffs.

(Editing by Ken Ferris/Ian Ransom)

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