Green Bay, Wis. — After flirting with retirement for years, Brett Favre means it this time. The Green Bay Packers quarterback quit a 17-season career in which he dazzled fans with his grit, heart and rocket of an arm.
"I know I can still play, but it's like I told my wife, I'm just tired mentally. I'm just tired," Favre told ESPN's Chris Mortensen in a voice mail message.
Tuesday's surprise move comes just months since the 38-year-old three-time MVP set several league records, including most career touchdown passes, in one of his most successful seasons.
Coach Mike McCarthy said Favre informed him of the decision by telephone Monday night.
"He said it was time for him to hang up the cleats," McCarthy said at a news conference Tuesday afternoon.
Favre's agent, Bus Cook, also learned of the decision Monday.
"Nobody pushed Brett Favre out the door, but then nobody encouraged him not to go out that door, either," Cook told the Associated Press by phone from his Hattiesburg, Miss., office.
Packers general manager Ted Thompson thanked Favre for 16 years of wonderful memories with the team.
"His accomplishments are legendary," Thompson said. "And it's the passion with which he played that made everyone a Brett Favre fan."
The team hasn't said when Favre might address the media.
Favre led the Packers to the NFC championship game in January, but his interception in overtime set up the New York Giants' winning field goal.
"If I felt like coming back - and Deanna (Favre's wife) and I talked about this - the only way for me to be successful would be to win a Super Bowl," Favre told ESPN. "To go to the Super Bowl and lose, would almost be worse than anything else. Anything less than a Super Bowl win would be unsuccessful."
Last season, Favre broke Dan Marino's career records for most touchdown passes and most yards passing and John Elway's record for most career victories by a starting quarterback.
He retires with 5,377 career completions in 8,758 attempts for 61,655 yards, 442 touchdowns and 288 interceptions.
In his final season, Favre also extended his quarterback-record streak of consecutive regular-season starts to 253 games.