Brett Favre made it clear yesterday that he's finished with football.
"I know I can play but I don't think I want to," a teary Favre said at Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wis., two days after he announced his retirement. "It's been a great career for me, but it's over."
With that, Favre walked away from a 17-year NFL career, taking with him a Super Bowl victory, virtually every quarterback record worth having, and the widespread admiration of his peers and fans.
The 38-year-old Favre also leaves with graying hair and a deliberate gait - signs that the years were quietly taking a toll on the man who was celebrated for playing a serious and precise game with the carefree joy of a boy.
"I promised I wouldn't get emotional," he said. But as tears flowed, he added, "I've watched hundreds of players retire and you wonder what that would be like. You think you're prepared . . ."
Favre thanked the Packers for letting him play.
"I hope that with every penny they've spent on me, they know it was money well spent," he said. Favre is the NFL's only three-time MVP, and holds league records with 442 touchdown passes, 61,655 yards passing, and 160 victories. He started 253 consecutive regular-season games, more than any other quarterback in history.
Favre also holds the more dubious mark of 288 interceptions - an indication of the wild streak that only made him more human to the fans who adored him.
Kearse back with Titans
The Titans agreed to terms on a multiyear contract with defensive end Jevon Kearse
. The 31-year-old was the Defensive Rookie of the Year after Tennessee made him the 16th overall pick in the 1999 draft. He made three Pro Bowl teams, but left in 2004 for a free agent deal with the Eagles. Kearse never achieved the success with Philadelphia he did in Tennessee, suffering a knee injury that cost him much of the 2006 season. He was released last week . . . Fullback Tony Richardson
, a 13-year veteran, signed with the Jets. Richardson played with the Vikings last season and made the Pro Bowl for the third time. He is the latest addition to a team that has been one of the most active during the first week of free agency, signing guard Alan Faneca
, defensive end-linebacker Calvin Pace
, and offensive lineman Damien Woody
, and trading for defensive tackle Kris Jenkins
. . . Two-time Pro Bowl linebacker Takeo Spikes
was released by the Eagles, saving the team $5 million under the salary cap. Spikes, 31, finished second on the team with 139 tackles in his only season with the Eagles. The 10-year veteran missed the final two games after having shoulder surgery in December . . . Punter Sean Landeta
, 46, the last active player from the United States Football League, officially retired . . . Steve Christie
retired as a member of the Bills, after the team's most prolific kicker signed a one-day contract . . . Terrell Suggs
filed a grievance against the Ravens over whether he should be classified as a defensive end or linebacker, a dispute in which $814,000 is at stake. Suggs wants to receive the $8.879 million, one-year salary for the defensive end franchise tag designation. The Ravens assigned Suggs the $8.065 million franchise tag for linebackers, the average of the top five linebackers' salaries. An arbitration hearing before a special master to resolve the issue hasn't been scheduled . . . Baltimore agreed to terms on a four-year, $4.9 million deal with Brendon Ayanbadejo
, a two-time Pro Bowl special teams player who last played for the Bears . . . The Broncos signed free agent linebacker Boss Bailey
, the younger brother of Denver Pro Bowl cornerback Champ Bailey
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