NFL Notebook

Favre: ‘It’s time’ to retire

QB sits out final game of his 20-year career

Associated Press / January 3, 2011

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Brett Favre’s NFL career had to end some time. And Favre says that time is now.

The 41-year-old quarterback sat out Minnesota’s season-ending loss to the Lions yesterday with a concussion, and it appears that perhaps the toughest man to ever play in the NFL had his 20-year career end not on the field trying to rally the Vikings to another victory, but on the bench as a third-string rookie floundered in Favre’s place.

“I know it’s time, and that’s OK. It is,’’ Favre said after the 20-13 defeat. “Again, I hold no regrets, and I can’t think of too many players offhand that can walk away and say that. Individually and from a team standpoint, it was way more than I ever dreamed of.’’

He also retired in 2008 with the Packers and 2009 with the Jets, only to return to the field both times when the football bug bit him in the summer. He knows that there will be doubters again.

“I don’t know for me if it’s ever easy,’’ Favre said.

Favre’s final season was full of interceptions (19), injuries (which ended his streak of 297 consecutive starts), and hits to his reputation (a scandal involving lewd photos and text messages). The three-time league MVP is the career leader in wins (186), yards passing (71,838), TD passes (508), attempts (10,169), completions (6,300), and interceptions (336).

Lewis says he’s out

Bengals coach Marvin Lewis said he will discuss his status with owner Mike Brown today, but based on his comments after yesterday’s loss to the Ravens, the talk should be short. “All I know is, officially today I’m no longer employed,’’ Lewis said. Cincinnati had only two winning seasons in Lewis’s eight-year run . . . Browns president Mike Holmgren will meet with Eric Mangini today to discuss the coach’s future in Cleveland. If Mangini is fired, Holmgren could hire someone or appoint himself as coach . . . The Star Tribune of Minneapolis reported interim coach Leslie Frazier agreed to take the job permanently . . . Giants co-owner John Mara said Tom Coughlin will return as coach next season . . . Cowboys owner Jerry Jones has yet to decide if he’ll remove the interim coach tag from Jason Garrett, but he said he could pick a coach this week.

Elway close to return Hall of Famer John Elway is expected to rejoin the Broncos as their chief football executive by midweek, a person with knowledge of the negotiations told the Associated Press. According to team spokesman Patrick Smyth, “Nothing has been finalized at this point.’’ Elway’s first order of business will be to pick a coach. ESPN reported that Elway would discuss the opening with Stanford’s Jim Harbaugh . . . 49ers vice president of player personnel Trent Baalke is considered the front-runner for the team’s general manager vacancy. Baalke interviewed Saturday with team president Jed York.

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