MILWAUKEE Still locked in a standoff with Brett Favre and facing the potential for a major disruption in training camp, the Green Bay Packers apparently are considering trading the three-time MVP to a division rival.
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported Thursday that Packers officials have had internal discussions about trading Favre to the Minnesota Vikings or Chicago Bears as a "last resort" to resolve the smoldering controversy.
As recently as Monday, there appeared to be no way the Packers would give Favre what they suspect he's wanted all along: A one-way ticket to Minnesota. Packers general manager Ted Thompson said earlier this week that he would not consider trading Favre to one of its NFC North division rivals.
But with Favre poised for reinstatement and potentially ready to show up in Green Bay on Friday to turn training camp into a circus, team officials might be willing to do just about anything. There were multiple reports Wednesday night that the team had offered to pay Favre up to $20 million to stay retired.
Thompson and other Packers officials did not immediately return telephone messages left by The Associated Press. The Packers did not have a public practice or media availability scheduled Thursday.
The team resumes practice Friday and Favre might be back with them, unless something can be worked out soon.
Favre, who retired in March, filed a letter on Tuesday requesting reinstatement from NFL commissioner Roger Goodell. The commissioner has waited to approve the request in hopes that Favre and the Packers could work out a resolution.
But that hasn't happened yet, even after team president and CEO Mark Murphy traveled to Mississippi on Wednesday to meet with Favre and agent James "Bus" Cook.
Favre was not seen working out with players Thursday at Oak Grove High School, something he has been doing in recent weeks to stay in shape. Cook was in his Hattiesburg office but was not available for comment.
Once Favre is reinstated, the Packers have 24 hours to decide whether to cut him or add him to their active roster. The Packers also could trade him, but such a deal is unlikely to happen unless Favre says he will report to his new team.
It is widely believed Favre would be willing to play for the Vikings. In filing tampering charges with the NFL against the Vikings two weeks ago, Packers officials expressed a belief that Vikings coaches had inappropriate contact with Favre and interest from the Vikings was the main reason behind Favre's last-minute desire to return.
Favre and Cook have maintained publicly that Favre's preference is to play for Green Bay. But they also have asked the Packers to release Favre from his contract, which would allow him to sign with any team. The Packers hold Favre's rights until his current contract expires after the 2010 season.
Favre isn't believed to have much interest in playing for Chicago, but the most recent developments in the Favre saga got a reaction in Bears training camp.
"I really don't know anything about (the reports)," Bears offensive coordinator Ron Turner said. "I went back to the room after meetings, heard it, saw it, just kind of chuckled because I have no idea where it came from. I have no idea where those stories come from."
Turner said he didn't want to talk about Favre because the Bears feel good about quarterbacks Rex Grossman and Kyle Orton. But Turner acknowledged that the smoldering controversy is hard to ignore.
"I am amazed by it," Turner said. "You don't know where it comes from. It seems like it's something different everyday."
Bears cornerback Nathan Vasher was surprised to hear that the Packers might consider trading Favre within the division.
"I had no clue," Vasher said. "I thought that would be something they wouldn't do or try to stay away from. As far as here, I like the guys we have behind center right now in Kyle and Rex, and I think those guys can definitely take us through."
AP sports writers Andrew Seligman in Bourbonnais, Ill., and Brett Martel in Hattiesburg, Miss., contributed to this report.