Last Saturday, Brett Favre stepped on to Lambeau Field to a chorus of cheers for the first time in 7 years. That day, the former Green Bay Packers quarterback had his No. 4 jersey retired by the team and was inducted into the Packers Hall of Fame. In his 20 years in the NFL, Favre would play for the Atlanta Falcons, the Packers, the New York Jets and the Minnesota Vikings. He would also win multiple Most Valuable Player awards as well as a Super Bowl. Here’s a look back at his illustrious career.
The Early Days (1991-1994):
Brett Favre was selected 33rd in the 1991 NFL Draft by the Atlanta Falcons. Falcons’ coach Jerry Glanville did not approve of the selection, and Favre would only attempt 4 passes in his short career with the Falcons. Favre was then traded to the Green Bay Packers for the 17th pick in the 1992 Draft. 4 games into the 1992 season, Favre started his first game in the NFL. He would not relinquish the starting role until he retired in 2007. He led the Packers to a 9-7 record and earned a spot in the Pro Bowl. The next year, “The Gunslinger” led the Packers to a playoff berth, a feat not accomplished by the team since 1982. That year, Favre led the NFC in pass completions and was named to his second Pro Bowl. In 1994, he once again led Green Bay to the playoffs with a 9-7 record.
The Winning Days (1995-1997):
Favre would have his first MVP season in 1995. Passing for 4,413 yards and 38 touchdowns, he led the Packers to an 11-5 record and to the NFC Championship Game, where they lost to the Dallas Cowboys. That offseason, Favre revealed that he had become dependent on the painkiller Vicodin after it had been used to treat various injuries during the 1994 and 1995 seasons. Following a dramatic seizure and his reveal, Favre was entered into the NFL’s substance-abuse program and a drug treatment facility. The next year, Favre led the Packers to their best season in 30 years with a 13-3 record. Green Bay’s offense led the league in points scored (456), and Farve would pass for 3,899 yards and a career-high 39 touchdowns, earning him his second consecutive MVP award. The Packers advanced to Super Bowl XXXI, where Favre would pass for 246 yards and score 3 touchdowns. Green Bay would defeat the New England Patriots 35-21. The next season, Favre and the Packers continued to dominate. Favre would win his 3rd consecutive MVP, sharing the honor with Detroit Lions running back Barry Sanders, and the team would once again reach the Super Bowl. There, the heavily favored Packers would lose to the Denver Broncos 31-24, despite Favre scoring 3 touchdowns and passing for 256 yards.
After Winning (1998-2002)
After his consecutive Super Bowl appearances and MVP honors, the next few years of Brett Favre’s career were largely uneventful. In 1998, the Packers would miss the NFC championship for the first time since 1994. While the team continued to post positive results, they would not regain the success they had experienced earlier in Favre’s career. Favre signed a 10 year, $100 million contract extension with the Packers in 2001.
In 2003, the night before a Monday Night Football game, Brett Favre’s father died of a heart attack. Farve chose to play in the game against the Oakland Raiders, where he recorded 4 touchdowns in the first half and 399 total passing yards. Green Bay would win the contest 41-7. In 2004, soon after his father’s death, Favre’s brother-in-law was killed in an ATV accident on his property in Mississippi. Later in 2004, Favre’s wife Deanna was diagnosed with breast cancer. She would recover after extensive treatment through 2004, and would help found the Deanna Farve Hope Foundation. In 2005, Hurricane Katrina tore through Favre’s home state of Mississippi. While none of his relatives were injured, his property in the state was extensively damaged.
Milestone Seasons (2006-2007):
Favre would experience milestone seasons in 2006 and 2007. In September of ’06, Farve became the second quarterback to record 400 career touchdown passes. He also became the first player to complete 5,000 career passes. In September of 2007, Favre would pass John Elway with a record-setting 149th win. Later that month, he would surpass Dan Marino as the all-time leading touchdown passer with 421 career touchdowns. In November, Favre would become the 3rd quarterback in NFL history to defeat all 31 current NFL teams, one week after Tom Brady and Peyton Manning had achieved the accomplishment.
Retirements and Returns (2008-2010):
On March 4 of 2008, Brett Favre officially announced his retirement from the NFL. However, Favre was reportedly in contact with Packers management regarding a return to the team that July. He then sent the team a letter asking for an unconditional release, which would allow him to choose the team he would play for. The Packers denied Favre an unconditional release and reaffirmed their commitment to Aaron Rodgers as the team’s new starting quarterback. When Favre made it clear to the team that he would not return as a backup, he was traded to the New York Jets for a 4th round pick in the 2009 Draft. After a lone season in New York, Favre would retire for a second time. Yet it was announced in August of 2009 that Favre had signed with the Minnesota Vikings. He would have another successful season in 2009, leading the Vikings to a 12-4 record and a spot in the NFC Championship Game. Favre announced during the offseason that he would return to the Vikings for the 2010 season, but that the next season would be his last. Brett Favre made his final NFL appearance on December 20th, 2010.