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Report: Favre files retirement papers with NFL

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MINNEAPOLIS — Brett Favre is following through on that vow to finally end his career after 20 NFL seasons.

League spokesman Greg Aiello confirmed that the Minnesota quarterback had filed his retirement papers with the NFL. The news was first reported by FoxSports.com on Monday.

The 41-year-old Favre has filed retirement papers previously, of course, and could request reinstatement at any time. He said he was done in 2008 with the Packers and 2009 with the Jets, only to join the Vikings and play two more years.

His apparent final season was filled with turnovers and oddities — the final play of Favre’s career will apparently be a jarring sack by the Bears on a rock-hard college football field. On the same day players across the league were clearing out their lockers for the year, Favre was sued by two massage therapists who say they lost their jobs with the Jets after complaining about those text messages from the famous quarterback.

Favre led the Vikings to the 2009 NFC title game in one of the most memorable seasons in the franchise’s 50-year history. But his second season in Minnesota couldn’t have gone much worse, and it appears the 41-year-old has finally worn out his welcome in a league that reaped the benefits of his talents for two decades.

“I cannot think of any circumstance of where I would pick up the phone and say, ‘Brett, do you want to come back next season?’ ” Leslie Frazier said earlier this month when he was elevated to full-time head coach. “I can’t think of any circumstance where that would occur.”

In 325 career games with the Packers, Jets and Vikings, a total of 21,208,946 fans paid to watch him throw a pass in person, according to STATS LLC. That’s more than the populations of New York, London and Los Angeles combined.

He was one of the most popular and unpopular players in league history. Idolized for so long in Green Bay after putting the NFL’s smallest city back on the football map with a Super Bowl title in 1996 and another trip back in 1997, a road outside Lambeau Field wasn’t the only thing in Wisconsin named in his honor.

The name Brett was never more popular for a newborn boy in the state than it was during Favre’s three straight MVP seasons from 1995-97.

Favre’s storybook romance with Green Bay ended poorly. He first started hinting at retirement after the turn of the century, then chafed when the Packers selected Aaron Rodgers in the first round in 2005. He announced his retirement during a tearful press conference in 2008, only to change his mind and force his way out in a trade to the New York Jets.

An accomplished rambler, Favre was as skilled at controlling the message in his press conferences as any athlete, his slow Southern drawl masking a razor sharp ability to turn the conversation. It was on display throughout the 2010 season, especially when he was confronted about allegations that he sent lewd pictures and messages Jenn Sterger.

In the end, he was fined $50,000 by the NFL for failing to cooperate with the investigation.

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