Packers to wait on Brett Favre jersey retirement so he won’t get booed

Packers-waiting-to-retire-Brett-Favre-jerseyBrett Favre is going to have his jersey number retired by the Green Bay Packers at some point. He is one of the greatest players to ever play for one of the greatest franchises in sports. Regardless of the way Favre’s relationship with the team ended, we all know what the final chapter will be. We just don’t know when it will be written.

On Thursday, Packers president Mark Murphy said that Favre could visit Lambeau Field for a game this upcoming season but that the team is not planning to retire his No. 4 just yet. Why? Fear of Packers fans booing.

“I don’t anticipate having him retire a number this season, in a game this year,” Murphy said, via Jason Wilde of ESPNWisconsin.com. “We have very good relations, and very good communication, but I don’t anticipate that this year.

“He wouldn’t want to come back and get booed. You can’t control 80,750 people … [but] I really think as time goes on, every year that passes, it’s less likely that he would get booed, but that is an issue.”

Last month, former Packers tight end and Favre teammate Mark Chmura said he was told Favre backed out of a previously scheduled Lambeau Field appearance because he was concerned he would be booed.

“Brett was confirmed to come up here to a game last year,” Chmura said during his radio show on 540 ESPN in Milwaukee. “But (he) had to cancel at the last second, a game late in the year. Brett is very afraid of getting booed at Lambeau. And that’s why he’s reluctant to come up.”

Wilde also noted that former Packers kicker Ryan Longwell, who signed with the Minnesota Vikings in 2006 after spending six seasons with Green Bay, signed a ceremonial one-day contract with the Packers last year and was booed by some fans when he returned.

The difference is Longwell is a kicker. Favre spent 16 seasons with the Packers and won a Super Bowl. He missed just one game during his Green Bay career, and that was in his first year with the team. Last year, Favre admitted he was at fault for the way his tenure with the Packers ended. Not to mention, the Packers won a Super Bowl after he left. It’s not as if he left the franchise in shambles.

Personally, I think enough time has passed. Fans love being part of the feel-good moment. Favre and his grey beard and hulking muscles will receive a warm welcome when he decides to return to Lambeau.

H/T Eye on Football

Julius Peppers signs with Packers

Julius PeppersJulius Peppers has agreed to a three-year contract with the Green Bay Packers. The deal, which was first reported by ESPN’s Josina Anderson, is reportedly worth a maximum of $30 million. Peppers will make $8.5 million next season.

Peppers, who was released by the Chicago Bears last week, declined a bit last season with just seven sacks. Still, he remains one of the better pass rushers in the league at age 34. Playing alongside Clay Matthews will also help, as defenses won’t be able to focus solely on Peppers when it comes to stopping the pass rush.

Green Bay also re-signed BJ Raji to a one-year contract on Thursday after he was unable to drum up any significant interest on the free agent market. The Packers have ultimately kept their defense intact, so the addition of Peppers should help.

At age 34, Peppers can still be a valuable piece of the puzzle without putting up the same sack numbers he did earlier in his career. That said, I’m not convinced he’s worth the type of money the Packers gave him.

Packers came so close to blocking 49ers’ winning field goal (GIF)

Packers-49ers field goal

The San Francisco 49ers were lucky to get a win over the Green Bay Packers in their wild card playoff game on Sunday.

FOX replays showed that Green Bay came incredibly close to blocking Phil Dawson’s 33-yard field goal to win the game 23-20.

That was Davon House who nearly blocked the kick. House was actually flagged for being offsides on the play, but the penalty was declined. That’s what the explanation from the referees at the end of the game was all about.

Here’s a look at the kick by Dawson and how close House was to blocking it:

Had the kick been blocked, the 49ers would have accepted the penalty and had another chance to kick, but it’s still crazy how close we were to having a controversial ending.

GIF via @cjzero

Packers score wild touchdown on Aaron Rodgers fumble (GIF)

jarrett-boykin-touchdownThe Chicago Bears are going to be kicking themselves for this one.

The Green Bay Packers took a 10-7 lead on Chicago in the second quarter of their Week 17 game on Sunday after returning a fumble for a touchdown on a play where nearly everybody on the field gave up.

Aaron Rodgers was sacked by Julius Peppers on a 1st-and-10 play from the Chicago 17 and lost the ball. Rodgers was stripped before beginning his passing motion, meaning the loose ball was a fumble, not an incomplete pass. Jarrett Boykin picked up the ball and, after standing around for a second, ran it into the end zone. He was credited with a touchdown and the ruling was upheld upon a review.

The referees said Rodgers fumbled the ball and they never blew the whistle to end the play.

Chicago learned the hard way that you have to keep going until you hear the whistle.

GIFs via GIFD Sports

Report: Aaron Rodgers wanted Packers to protect him to avoid Brett Favre injury comparison

Aaron RodgersAaron Rodgers is growing image-conscious as he recovers from his broken collarbone injury, and he is trying to make sure the Green Bay Packers protect him, according to a report.

Rodgers on Sunday missed his seventh straight game since breaking his collarbone in Week 9 against the Chicago Bears. The Packers have avoided giving a timetable for Rodgers’ recovery. The questions about his status come each week, and each week he has not been medically cleared to play. But, last week, instead of saying that Rodgers wasn’t medically cleared to play, coach Mike McCarthy repeated during a press conference that it was an “organizational decision” to not have Rodgers play. That “organizational decision” line apparently came at Rodgers’ urging.

ESPN’s Chris Mortensen shared the information on “Sunday NFL Countdown.” Here’s what he said via the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel:

“A CT scan of Aaron Rodgers’ fractured left collarbone still showed extraordinary risk if he returned to the football field today, according to sources,” Mortensen said. “So why the emphasis on organizational decision by Packers’ coach Mike McCarthy on Friday to the point where McCarthy mentioned it eight or nine times by media count? That’s because Rodgers insisted vehemently on a message of organizational decision, sources said, with an emphasis that he is a tough guy. One source says the quarterback’s sensitivity that his injury absence would be compared to Brett Favre’s reputation for toughness was a driving force behind McCarthy’s message, which created a palpable tension between the coach and the quarterback. And sources say McCarthy clearly understood Dr. Patrick McKenzie’s unwillingness to give Rodgers medical clearance and there was no real organizational decision about it. It was medical.”

If this is true, I understand Rodgers’ concern about how he is perceived in terms of toughness. And why isn’t it enough for McCarthy to say Rodgers hasn’t been medically cleared? Because there have been plenty of players who come back early from injuries regardless of what doctors have told them. If Rodgers wanted the team to say it’s an organizational decision not to have him play, they should comply. Why? They need to do the right thing and protect their top player. Do they really want him coming back early and re-breaking the bone? Do they want to have a Rob Gronkowski forearm situation? Or do they want him to fully heal so he can continue being a great QB for them for the next decade? This shouldn’t be an issue, and nobody should question Rodgers’ toughness. This is an injury that needs time to heal and should not be rushed.

Packers players admitted they thought there would be second overtime

Here’s something that will shock you: Some NFL players still don’t know the overtime rules.

The Green Bay Packers and Minnesota Vikings game ended in a 26-26 tie on Sunday at Lambeau Field. According to Sports Illustrated NFL writer Robert Klemko, some Packers players admitted they thought there would be a second overtime:

Andrew QuarlessKlemko later quoted tight end Andrew Quarless as saying he thought there would be another overtime period.

“I thought we was gonna go to another overtime. I never knew,” he said, per Klemko.

Quarless now joins the infamous list of NFL players who don’t know the overtime rules, which is headed by Donovan McNabb, who infamously said after his Eagles played the Raiders to a tie in 2008 that he didn’t realize that was possible.

The NFL changed the overtime rules for the playoffs in 2010. The rule change was that playoff games could not if the team that receives the ball kicks a field goal. That rule was adopted for the regular season last year. Though playoff games do not end in ties, as we have seen, regular-season games can.

Helmet smack to Eye on Football

Colin Kaepernick to Packers: You’ll need a better game plan than intimidation

Clay-Matthews-late-hit-Colin-KaepernickThe Green Bay Packers were more prepared for Colin Kaepernick on Sunday as a runner than they were in the playoffs last year, but the end result was the same. The San Francisco 49ers won the game and Kaepernick shredded Green Bay through the air, throwing for 412 yards and three touchdowns.

The Packers’ 34-28 loss also included a boneheaded play from Clay Matthews, who started a brawl when he dove at Kaepernick and tackled him as he was clearly out of bounds. After the game, Kaepernick was asked about that play and Matthews’ comments from earlier in the week about trying to get his hits in on the quarterback.

“I’m not worried about what people are saying,” Kaepernick said, via the Niners official website. “If intimidation is your game plan, I hope you have a better one.”

The play also led to a crucial mistake by the referees, who allowed San Francisco to replay 3rd down after offsetting penalties to both teams. Kaepernick then threw a 10-yard touchdown pass to Anquan Boldin on the next play. With the offsetting penalties after the play was over, it should have been 4th down. Matthews admitted it was a dumb play.

“First off, it wasn’t a very smart play,” he said. “I had already committed to hitting the quarterback. I guess I should have figured he was going to step out of bounds, but it was nothing personal. I went up to him later and was joking around with him. Not a very smart play.”

While there was no excuse for the officials to blow the call, Matthews realizes the confusion would have never occurred if he didn’t hit Kaepernick late. Green Bay clearly doesn’t intimidate Kaep. The Packers could very well have to go through San Francisco if they want to reach the Super Bowl this year, so they had better figure out a way to stop the second-year phenom by then.

H/T Pro Football Talk