EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. (AP) — As Brett Favre pondered his future this summer, three Minnesota Vikings players arrived at his Mississippi home with a last-ditch sales pitch to persuade the aging quarterback to put on his uniform for a 20th season.

But his teammates weren’t selling this: With the Vikings out of the playoff chase and the once-bionic signal-caller recovering from yet another serious injury, Favre began what could well be the final week of his career with another hit — a $50,000 fine from the NFL.

The league finalized Wednesday a slow-paced investigation of tawdry allegations against the 41-year-old with a rebuke of the all-time ironman for not cooperating with the process.

After nearly three months of interviews, forensic analysis and further examination, the NFL said Commissioner Roger Goodell “could not conclude” that Favre violated the league’s personal conduct policy based on the evidence available to him. Investigators were trying to determine if Favre sent inappropriate messages and below-the-belt photos to Jenn Sterger in 2008, when both worked for the New York Jets.

Forensic analysis failed to establish that Favre sent the images to Sterger, the league said, but her attorney in accusing the NFL of favoritism asserted there was “ample evidence” that the photos came from Favre.

“Today’s decision is an affront to all females and shows once again that, despite tough talk, the NFL remains the good old boys’ league,” attorney Joseph Conway said.

Favre’s punishment stems from Goodell’s determination that he was “not candid in several respects during the investigation resulting in a longer review and additional negative public attention for Favre, Sterger and the NFL,” the league said.

The commissioner also told Favre that if he had found a violation of the league’s workplace conduct policies, he would have imposed a “substantially higher level of discipline.”

There was no immediate comment from Favre and his agent, Bus Cook, did not return messages.

Vikings players had Wednesday off, and interim coach Leslie Frazier said he “never put a lot of energy or focus” on the situation.

“I can’t really speak for Brett and how it has affected him on and off the field,” Frazier said. “I just know that whenever he’s in meetings, whenever he’s on the practice field, he’s been all in in every situation. I’ve never thought for a moment that he wasn’t as prepared as well as he’s prepared ever.”

The league said its investigation dragged out because of difficulties in setting up interviews with “certain key individuals,” the complication of retrieving and reviewing electronic records and Goodell’s decision to meet with both Favre and Sterger before reaching a conclusion.

Goodell in a memo sent Wednesday to all NFL teams said that “every member of every club’s staff should be able to work in an environment free of harassment or hostility, and one in which every employee is valued, respected, and given a full opportunity to contribute to the goals of the club and the NFL.”

Favre’s fine will help fund a new training program on workplace conduct around the league, though for the multimillionaire QB the penalty is a pittance. Even while sitting out of Tuesday’s game at Philadelphia because of post-concussion symptoms, Favre essentially earned $50,000 over about five minutes of action.

According to NFLPA data, Favre’s base salary for this season is $11.6 million.

The allegations against the quarterback surfaced on the website Deadspin, which posted a video Oct. 7 that included text messages and voicemails allegedly left by Favre for Sterger, including one in which he invites her to his hotel.

A former model who was a Jets gameday emcee and later appeared on the Versus television network, Sterger refused to speak on the record to the website. Weeks after the story broke, she talked with league investigators and cooperated fully, according to her manager Phil Reese.

The investigation was also limited in several respects because the matter was not brought to its attention until two years after it allegedly occurred, the league said.

The ruling came days before what could be the final game for the three-time MVP. He’ll start at Detroit Sunday, but only if he’s recovered from a concussion sustained 10 days ago in a game against Chicago.

Though he has infamously unretired before, Favre has said repeatedly this season is his last. He made the declaration even before his NFL record for consecutive starts was snapped at 297 in mid-December.

With 11 touchdowns and 19 interceptions, Favre’s passer rating of 69.9 ranks ahead of only Arizona’s Derek Anderson and rookie Jimmy Clausen of Carolina.

Favre also has been battered by injuries to his ankle, chin, ribs, back, head and throwing shoulder — the one that forced him to finally miss a start, against the New York Giants on Dec. 13. But despite all his troubles, Favre has said all along that he did not regret coming back.

“If you had seasons like you did last year, every year,” he said recently, “I don’t think you would appreciate them nearly as much.”

Frazier said the Vikings would love to see Favre play against the Lions.

“He’s a very competitive guy, as we all know,” Frazier said. “I approached him last night in pregame. We were watching the offense warm up and I said, ‘Hey, I know those competitive juices are flowing, aren’t they?’ He started laughing and said, ‘Yes, they are.’ And that’s not going to change. It’s just a matter of if he can physically do it or not. He’d like to finish on the football field as opposed to watching. That’s just who he is.”

(© Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Comments (13)
  1. Laurie says:

    What a disrespectful way to end your career Mr Favre. You’ve lost my total respect after being a Packer and Favre fan for 50 years. I watched the first 2 Super Bowls KC and Oakland and you will never be a Bart Star. Shame Shame!!!! What message is this to your daughters and grandson. I hope Deanna rips you another. Good Riddins

    1. NFL supporter says:

      Really you have the proof that the NFL didn’t that Brett did this. This is just some female who sees dollar signs and comes up with some BS way to try an extort it from a legend. Brett called her bluff and she lost.

      As far as the fine, its not a court of law, Brett legally does not have to answer any of the question as I am sure his counsel advised.

      Maybe a more import rule would be for the NFL to enforce dress codes. They fine the players for not having the right shoes maybe the should fine the side reporters for allowing their boobs to fall out all over the place.

      1. Fascism says:

        It’s like how Sharai laws are unfair to women, only in the United States, men are automatically guilty.

        And women display genitals through Their clothes.

      2. myrna garlite says:


  2. Mississippi Girl says:

    F$&@ing pervert!! He is guilty and Roger Goodell/ NFL know it. Will somebody please call the women at PETA and tell them to get off the damn dog case and get on this sexual harassment case!!

  3. Mississippi Girl says:

    I wonder what Tucker Carlson thinks Brett’s punishment should be or if he even thinks he should be punished? Probably doesn’t…probably wishes HE had received one of those pics for himself!! I think Brett should be castrated! To all of the people out there who insist that athletes are supposed to be role models for your kids, you better check your kids text messages and burn all of your Favre jerseys!!

    1. Ignorance must be bliss says:

      Where to start with this? Why would PETA do anything about nude photos? The other thing that is sad is people like you that let kids look up to sports stars as role models. How about you teach the children that they are people (most not worth watching outside of sports and most are basic idiots in the 1st place) and not something that they should look up to. Respect the talent not the person. As far as saying he should be castrated, you have to be kidding. He was not found guilty. If this was such a big deal and was real why would she wait 2 years before coming out with this? Another gold digger gets your attention and stupid people will always fall for a girl crying like she got a skinned knee.

  4. helper says:

    Farve’s a little sissy! Used to be a man, then went downhill after he became a viking…

  5. Paul H. Krumrei says:

    Give me a break, guys can’t chase women anymore without anyone getting in their business. It aint like she didn’t give him the number DUH! An you wonder why all you single women out there can’t find a man, you wont let them talk to you!

  6. The Gospel Truth says:

    Question: I’m guessing Sterger doesn’t publish her cell phone number on Facebook so how did Favre get the number?

    Observation: A 10 year old could determine if text and/or photos came from Favre’s cell phone. Perhaps the commish’s forensic “expert” isn’t enough of an “expert” to have been given the task.

    Opinion: He did or he didn’t. She encouraged him or she didn’t. Both issues should be pretty simple to determine. At this point, the commish hasn’t been fair to either party and makes himself, and the NFL, look like they’re idiots.

    1. Sam says:

      Actually your observation is incorrect. The cell representative showed me on my own cell phone how to spoof a number because I was getting threatening calls. When you use the spoofing applicaiton there is no way to trace where it really came from.

  7. The Gospel Truth says:

    Sam, I don’t think that means the call cannot be traced. All calls are logged somewhere, you just need to find it. Here’s a redacted excerpt from an LE manual:

    “That subpoena will give you the actual originating number used by your target to place the call – actual/real caller ID cannot be blocked when dialing a toll-free number. Once you have the telephone number of your target, the rest is just plain old detective work.”

    Granted, there are many ways to spoof but there is always a way to get the data if you really need/want to.

    I find it interesting that Favre doesn’t deny the voice mails and I must plead ignorance on whether or not he publicly denied the texts or photos.

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