- The Washington Times - Tuesday, July 15, 2008

From combined dispatches

Brett Favre finally is speaking for himself: He wants to play but doesn’t feel welcome in Green Bay, so he’s asking to be released.

The quarterback’s first substantial comments on his latest retirement decision reversal come in an interview with Fox News on “On the Record with Greta Van Susteren.”

“I am guilty of retiring early, and there is a reason for that,” Favre said, according to an excerpt provided to the Associated Press before the Monday night broadcast. “And the major issue is ‘Why did he retire?’ and ‘He asked for a release because he doesn’t want to play in Green Bay.’ That’s not true. And I hope people are hearing this and saying ‘OK, that clears it up.’”

According to Van Susteren, who spoke to the AP by telephone Monday afternoon, Favre said he was “never fully committed” to retiring and felt pressured by the Packers to make a decision, a notion Packers general manager Ted Thompson and coach Mike McCarthy tried to dispel in an interview with the AP on Saturday.

“Ted always wanted Brett back,” McCarthy said. “We always wanted Brett back.”

Favre told Fox he understands the Packers want to move on - but if they’re doing so, they should let him go.

“Them moving on does not bother me,” Favre said. “It doesn’t. I totally understand that. By me retiring March 3, I knew that could possibly happen. All I was saying is, you know, I’m thinking about playing again.”

Van Susteren - who is from Appleton, Wis., is a Packers shareholder and previously had interviewed Favre and his wife, Deanna - said Favre made it clear he would not return to the Packers if he wasn’t the starter. And while Favre said the Packers asked him for a list of teams to which he would accept a trade, he wants to be released to make sure he ends up on a competitive club.

Thompson said the team wasn’t going to release Favre but he could come back in a “different role than he was” because the team is committed to going forward with Aaron Rodgers.

Thompson and McCarthy wouldn’t discuss the possibility of trading Favre and said they hadn’t received any trade inquiries as of Saturday.

Thompson and McCarthy gave the AP a detailed description of their dealings with Favre throughout the offseason, including an episode a few weeks after Favre’s retirement in which the two were prepared to fly to Mississippi to seal the deal on a Favre comeback - only to have the quarterback change his mind again.

In the interview, Favre said the Packers were being dishonest, although the excerpt provided to the AP did not offer specific instances Favre was challenging.

“If you move on, you tell me one thing, don’t come back and tell the public … just say it, ‘You know, we’ve moved on, and we’ll work with Brett on whatever it is,’” Favre said. “Don’t make up a lot of stuff or give half of the truth.”

COLTS: Quarterback Peyton Manning had a medical procedure to remove an infected bursa sac from his left knee.

Colts president Bill Polian announced the procedure, described as routine.

Polian said the team’s medical staff expects Manning to have “a full and complete return to action” in four to six weeks. Colts training camp begins July 25.

HENRY: Prosecutors dropped an assault charge against former Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Chris Henry, clearing the way for him to apply for reinstatement by the NFL.

Henry’s lawyer, Perry Ancona, said Henry planned to apply immediately.

“All we could say is this would be reviewed at the appropriate time, and all factors would be considered,” NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said.

The 25-year-old Henry was accused of punching an 18-year-old University of Cincinnati student in March and of breaking his car window with a beer bottle. An earlier trial ended when a jury could not reach a verdict on the assault charge, and the judge dismissed a misdemeanor charge of criminal damaging.

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