MINNEAPOLIS -- Brett Favre seemed to be joking during an interview that appeared in USA Today on Tuesday, but then again considering the quarterback's wavering ways, maybe he really will attempt to play at the age of 50.
"If you do enough patchwork, eventually you've got to get a new one," Favre told the paper, laughing about the fact he has had three surgeries on his left ankle during the course of his 19-year NFL career. "You gotta quit sometime. Then again, maybe I will be doing this when I'm 50 years old, who knows?"
Favre, who will turn 41 on Oct. 10, hasn't announced whether he will play this season. The Vikings open training camp on Friday but it was never anticipated Favre would take part in the Mankato portion of camp, which ends Aug. 12.
Favre told USA Today he was sure he would retire in the moments after the Vikings' 31-28 overtime loss to New Orleans in the NFC title game. Favre's interception late in the fourth quarter ended a Vikings drive in Saints territory.
"I can remember walking off that podium with (wife) Deanna and my family thinking, 'I'm done,"' he said. "I mean, my heart ... it was broken."
New Orleans' defensive game plan left Favre with an injured thigh and extremely sore ankle. But Favre said it was the loss that really hurt.
"It's just too hard to digest," he said.
Favre's feelings began to change on the flight home as many associated with the Vikings, including his teammates, started to thank him for what he had done.
"I mean, there were tears flying'," Favre said. "By the time we landed, I am like, 'I don't think I can let these guys down.' I know football is a business, but more than anything I felt like there was unfinished business. All of a sudden, 'Oh, man, as much as I don't want to go through that again, I almost feel as if I owe these guys something. And that is something, I admit, I have not felt in a long time. It has made it so hard to make a rational decision."
Favre said his thigh is fine but the left ankle continues to bother him and "still feels like it did before surgery." According to Favre, the arthroscopic procedure was done to reduce pain but won't restore additional mobility.
"As the day goes by, it loosens up a bit," Favre said. "But I keep telling myself, 'Hey, you're 40. You have had three (ankle) surgeries, so you ought to (be) pretty thankful it's not worse than it is."'
--The Vikings have expressed interest in free-agent receiver Kelley Washington, who caught a career-high 34 passes for 431 yards and two touchdowns last season for Baltimore. Washington has 107 receptions for 1,327 yards and 11 TDs in seven NFL seasons.
--The Vikings have come to terms with fourth-round defensive end Everson Griffen, according to ESPN.com. That leaves them with four of eight picks unsigned, including cornerback Chris Cook and running back Toby Gerhart, both taken in the second round. Cook's agent, Hadley Engelhard, seemed encouraged. "We have had good, constant dialogue and are making progress," he said in an e-mail. Gerhart's father told KFAN Radio that he thought a deal might be agreed upon Tuesday.