- The Washington Times - Friday, May 8, 2009

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. | The Minnesota Vikings’ dalliance with Brett Favre has yet to reach the stage of face-to-face, close-the-deal talks.

Maybe it never will.

Vikings coach Brad Childress remained at team headquarters Thursday despite reports he was to travel south for discussions with the supposedly retired quarterback, who lives in Mississippi. Meanwhile, Yahoo Sports reported that Favre called Childress sometime Wednesday or early Thursday and told the coach he wants to stay retired.

Twin Cities television station KMSP broadcast video of Childress’s early-morning arrival at Winter Park, and the coach’s black sports utility vehicle was still parked at the team’s facility in suburban Minneapolis in the afternoon.

Yahoo cited an unidentified source close to the team in reporting that the Vikings won’t sign the 39-year-old quarterback, who owns many of the NFL’s major passing records.

So after all the talk about Favre coming back to fill the only glaring hole on an otherwise Super Bowl-ready roster, what if the Vikings are back to the original plan of having Tarvaris Jackson and Sage Rosenfels compete for the quarterback job?

No problem, All-Pro defensive end Jared Allen said.

“Our plan never revolved around him,” Allen told the Associated Press. “He’s obviously a heck of a player. If he wants to stay retired, more power to him. Our offseason goals were never about whether or not we would acquire Brett Favre. Our goals are still the same: to win the division, make the playoffs and see how far we can go. I think our team has all the confidence in the world we can do that.”

Allen, one of the leaders in the Vikings locker room, expressed confidence in the current quarterbacks to do what’s necessary to win.

“You have to understand that we try to stay focused on the goal at hand, and that’s not going to change,” he said.

Vikings officials declined comment. Favre’s agent, Bus Cook, did not return repeated phone calls.

Favre’s uncertainty about whether to quit pro football after 18 seasons or keep playing has created the kind of drama usually reserved for one of his performances with the Vikings’ chief rival, Green Bay.

When Favre reconsidered his first retirement last summer and the Packers wouldn’t let him return, he wanted to be traded to Minnesota. After going to the New York Jets instead, he wore down at the end of last season and said in February he was done for good.

“It’s time to leave,” he told reporters then.

Several Jets teammates complained afterward about Favre’s standoffishness. But after an informal practice Thursday, players took a higher ground when asked the now-annual question about his status.

“This guy’s been the face of the NFL for a long time,” running back Leon Washington said. “If he can still throw that ball and still sling it, he still has the right to do it, in my opinion.”

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