The lengths the Vikings went to in order to convince QB Brett Favre to return for another season worked, as his teammates were a big reason why he returned to Minnesota, Favre said in a press conference following his first practice with the Vikings on Wednesday.
The future Hall-of-Famer said that the outpouring of support from the Vikings ultimately got him to put off retirement again.
"It was really about the team," he said. "If those guys turned their backs and said 'thanks,' it would have been [an easier decision]."
Head coach Brad Childress reaffirmed the team's desire for Favre to return.
"It wasn't me wanting him back, it was 'we' wanting him back," Childress said.
In addition to the three Vikings who skipped practice to fly to Hattiesburg Miss., to convince Favre to return, he received support from the rest of the team throughout the offseason. Even backup QB Sage Rosenfels reached out to him.
"I felt like I owe it to this organization to give it one more try," Favre said.
Favre discussed the difficult decision he had after the Vikings lost to the Saints in the NFC championship game, following a season he called "magical" when he threw 33 touchdown passes and just seven interceptions.
"The mental toll is what is really hard to deal with," he said. "I would love to win the Super Bowl, but what happens if I don't? That was the tough part."
The physical toll of the cumulation of hits over his career in addition to his recent ankle surgery was another concern.
"I don't want to come out here and hurt this football team by not playing at a high level," he said. "Physically, I can't complain. The ankle is just something I have to deal with."
Favre said he would like to play in Sunday's preseason game against the 49ers, but is "not looking forward to getting hit anytime soon."
While he might say something different a year from now, Favre, who turns 41 in early October, said that this will be his last season.
"Twenty years and I'm done," he said. "This is the last year of my contract. I'm sure a lot of people are like, 'yes!' including my family."
We'll have to wait until next year to see if Favre will like the number 21.
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