Brett Favre believes he might’ve played in NFL too long


SUMRALL, Miss. — Brett Favre, on the verge of 50, looks like he can still play football. Trim and cut like Tom Brady, cardiovascularly fit from riding his bike along southern Mississippi country roads 110 miles a week, he lives a pretty simple life near where it all began. Every morning, he gets up around 5:30 and eats some strawberry yogurt with granola. He says some days he and wife Deana, both born and raised Catholic, pray the Rosary together. He goes and eats breakfast with a cadre of friends from around Hattiesburg. Then he’ll putter around his 465 acres, or hit some golf balls, or ride his bike.

Nine years removed from playing, and three years after being inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, Favre is happy with this quiet life. He does a little radio, which, for the storyteller he is, is more of his genre than TV. He never really wanted to be a TV talking head.

I visited Favre in August, and we recorded a 47-minute podcast to use around the time of his 50th birthday, which is Thursday. Over the years, we’ve laughed a lot at his stories—and you’ll love the one he tells on the podcast about the automatic fart machine on a tense Packer team bus back in the day. There was some of that, but there was also some of, How are you doing? How are you really doing? Because the football world isn’t this gauzy place full of John Wayne heroes who fade off into a sweet retirement. Football players, particularly those from the Favre era and before, have the long-term effects of brain trauma to worry about now. And talking to Favre, you can tell he’s concerned. Not obsessed with it, but it’s on his mind, figuring that making those 297 consecutive starts, every game over 17-plus seasons, will exact a toll on him later in life.

I should preface what I’m about to write with a story. A couple of weeks after I saw Favre, he and I got together in Kansas City with Patrick Mahomes—the quarterback who is most like Favre of any who have followed him—and Andy Reid, who has coached both of them. We went over film of Favre plays from 25 years ago, and from Mahomes plays of last year. They talked. Favre’s memory was razor-sharp of the tiniest details about each of his old plays. So there’s that.

The bottom line is that so much about the brain as it deals with aging and repetitive head trauma is unknown. I don’t draw conclusions to either understate or overstate anything about how the future will treat Brett Favre, because I just don’t know, and the experts don’t know.

But with the attention being paid to concussions and CTE, Favre knows there could be a new reality coming for him.

“For me, what I have fear of more than anything that 20 years ago was not even a thought is the mental side of it,” Favre said, sitting in his living room while a late-afternoon thunderstorm boomed outside. “You and I were talking before we started the podcast—some of the stories you brought up, I don’t remember. There was a point in my life where I remembered everything … A story I should know, whether it’s one from you or someone else, I have no recollection of it. It bugs me. It makes me wonder.”

Favre told a story of the former Steelers doctor, Julian Bales, reaching out to him after he retired. Bales wanted to do some testing on Favre, to investigate whether he might have elevated levels of Tao protein, the indicator that a person could have Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy. Bales told Favre there was no known treatment for elevated Tao levels. “No disrespect,” Favre said he told Bales. “But I’d rather not know.”

I asked if he had thoughts that he stayed in football too long.

“Absolutely,” Favre said. “Absolutely. I wonder every day what tomorrow will bring just from [how] I did play. John Wayne was cool then. Maybe not so cool now.”

I asked if he was glad he played football. “Absolutely. Absolutely,” he said.

“I wouldn’t trade any of it, the good and the bad,” he continued. “I spoke most recently at a Boys & Girls Club in Hudsonville, Alabama. There’s 1,500 people. I was asked a lot of questions. One was if you could go back and change something. I said, Let me stop you. I always get this question. I wouldn’t change anything. It is what it is. First of all, we can’t change it, so it’s ridiculous to even think that. Secondly, if everything was good, if I completed every pass, we’d won every game, how would you ever know what a real great win would be like?

“It’s something as a coach I would tell my kids—I would tell my own kids, and I’ll tell my grandkids. Whatever you want to do, make sure that at 25 you don’t look back and say, ‘You know, I should’ve played.’ Or ‘I should’ve worked harder.’ Or, ‘I could’ve been the best in my class.’ Whatever that may be. Or at 35, or 40. When you leave high school, you don’t go back. You better make the most of it. Every adult that I’ve ever been around when talking about this subject, they all say the same thing. If they could go back, they’d go back. Not because you love chemistry or biology, but it was a simpler time in life. We all have some regrets to a certain extent but there are some that are controllable. You’ve got to have the absolute best time you can have. But you’ve got to work hard at it. I know I did … I’m proud of what I did. I had a blast doing it.”

When you listen to Favre, except for maybe-I-played-too-long stuff, you can tell he doesn’t wallow in the what-might-have-been. Most of his life is spent looking ahead, though he is prompted (by people like me) to recall what was. We probably talked for 10 minutes about the fearsome wild hogs on his property. Those are big concerns to him. Controlling the beavers damming up the property in spots—another concern. He likes the life now. He thinks about the future, yes. Does it torment him? Sure doesn’t seem like it.

Lots of players struggle with the post-football transition. I remember once, after the Packers won Favre’s lone Super Bowl, Favre told me if NFL Films tried to find him after his career, they’d have a hard time. One place he wouldn’t be: in the spotlight. That’s pretty much how it’s turned out. When I text Favre these days, sometimes it’s returned immediately, sometimes not at all, sometimes after a couple of days. He’s out riding his bike, or tending to daughter Breleigh’s volleyball games; she plays at Southern Miss, and Favre’s been a big benefactor to the program.

He watches some football—not a lot. He never was one for sports on TV. But he will watch Patrick Mahomes if the Chiefs are on. “He is more polished than I was,” Favre said. “I think our styles are very similar. We use our feet, use our arm strength. You never know what’s gonna come out, including me, including him.”

As I wrote last week, Favre also has been a big booster of a doctor at Florida State, Jake VanLandingham, who is working to develop a topical cream for football players to use pre-game to reduce the effects of head trauma during the game. VanLandingham is also developing a nasal spray to be used after a concussive blow, to lessen the length of time for recovery from a concussion. Favre has spoken to Roger Goodell about getting on board with a medication that could be an antidote to the concussion crisis at all levels of football. VanLandingham is in the trial phase with these medications, and he told me two major colleges could be using the meds within a year. The military, with its history of concussive incidents in combat, is interested in VanLandingham’s work.

So Favre has found other things to do, and other things to think about on those bike trips.

“I try to ride about—I average 110 to 120 miles a week … Like Deana and I rode 27 miles two days ago. Some of the back roads, some of the main roads just depending on what time. When she got me a bike about 11, 12 years ago, one of those bikes you pick up with one finger, I said, What am I gonna do with that? She said, we can go biking together. I’m like, don’t be ridiculous, I’m not biking. How far do you go? She said about 25 miles. I said Are you crazy? Twenty-five miles? One time? One day? And lo and behold, she said if you start getting into it, you won’t waste your time for anything less than. And she’s right. The first couple times I went like three miles and I’m like, alright let’s turn around and go back. I’m thankful that she talked me into it.

“I love to jog but not when it’s 98 and humid. So in the winter I’ll jog a little bit if my body feels okay. I ran in a half-marathon last year with Breleigh, our youngest daughter. She said, ‘Dad, I think I’m gonna sign up for a half marathon. Will you do it with me?’ What are you supposed to say? I’m not doing it? I said of course I’ll do it. So I try to stay as in-shape as possible.”

Read more from Peter King’s Football Morning in America here.

NFL quarterback rankings 2023: Chris Simms’ top 40 QB countdown ahead of upcoming NFL season


While the NFL is a league that is ever-changing, some things are set to stay the same in 2023 — like the revealing of Chris Simms’ top 40 QB countdown.

Last year’s list saw Josh Allen take his place atop the quarterback throne, with Kansas City’s Patrick Mahomes and Los Angeles’ Justin Herbert not far behind at No. 2 and No. 3, respectively. It was, however, Mahomes who would ultimately reign over all NFL quarterbacks at the end of the season, as the 27-year-old collected both the NFL MVP honors and his second Lombardi Trophy.

This NFL offseason, however, has brought some intriguing adjustments that are likely to shake up Simms’ rankings.

While some signal-callers such as Jalen Hurts and Lamar Jackson found their prolonged home with massive contract signings, others will be venturing to a new franchise in search of a fresh start. Aaron Rodgers‘ trade to the New York Jets is unquestionably the most staggering shift, but other quarterbacks on the move such as Derek Carr and Jimmy Garoppolo cannot be forgotten.

RELATED: Mike Florio gives an inside look into the Lamar Jackson deal

And with three of the first four picks in the 2023 NFL Draft being spent on a quarterback, emerging talent will likely turn the tides for some franchises this upcoming season.

See below for Chris Simms’ top 40 QB countdown ahead of the upcoming season. Be sure to subscribe to Chris Simms Unbuttoned for more on the 2023 NFL season as well as an unfiltered look at the NFL featuring player access, unabashed opinion, X&O film breakdown and stories from a life in and around football.

RELATED: Peter King’s latest offseason NFL power rankings

Chris Simms’ 2023 Top 40 QB Countdown:

40. Desmond Ridder (ATL)

39. Sam Howell (WAS)

38. Bryce Young (CAR)

37. CJ Stroud (HOU)

36. Anthony Richardson (IND)

35. Mike White (MIA)

34. Gardner Minshew (IND)

33. Taylor Heinicke (ATL)

32. Jarrett Stidham (DEN)

31. Jordan Love (GB)

30. Davis Mills (HOU)

29. Tyler Huntley (BAL)

28. Andy Dalton (CAR)

27. Sam Darnold (SF)

26. Brock Purdy (SF)

25. Kenny Pickett (PIT)

24. Baker Mayfield (TB)

23. Justin Fields (CHI)

22. Jimmy Garoppolo (LV)

21. Tua Tagovailoa (MIA)

20. Mac Jones (NE)

19. Kyler Murray (AZ)

18. Derek Carr (NO)

17. Jared Goff (DET)

16. Ryan Tannehill (TEN)

15. Geno Smith (SEA)

14. Russell Wilson (DEN)

2023 NFL Schedule Release: Start time, how to watch, live stream, channel


With another exciting NFL Draft in the books, teams can now turn their gaze toward the road to Super Bowl LVIII in Las Vegas. The path to Super Bowl glory, however, is about to become abundantly more clear with the 2023 NFL season schedule release.

This year’s NFL season schedule release is nearly here, with the entirety of the 2023 NFL schedule being unveiled on Thursday, May 11 at 8 p.m. ET on both Peacock and NFL Network. See below for everything you need to know for one of the offseason’s most anticipated events.

RELATED: Click here for full analysis on Rounds 1-7 of the 2023 NFL Draft

When will the 2023 NFL season schedule be released?

While all 272 matchups have been known since the conclusion of the 2022 regular season, the order and dates for these games have remained a mystery. The secret is nearly out, however, with every NFL game on the brink of revelation.

The full 2023 NFL schedule will be released on Thursday, May 11 at 8:00 p.m. ET.

How can I watch the 2023 NFL season schedule release?

The 2023 NFL season schedule release will take place Thursday, May 11 on Peacock, NFL Network, and the NFL app at 8 p.m. ET.

While the entirety of the schedule will be unveiled at that time, select games have already been and will continue to be released prior to the official event. Ahead of the 2023 NFL season schedule release, the following games will be announced:

Who will play in the 2023 NFL Kickoff game?

The first game of the 2023-24 NFL season will see the reigning Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs take the field in Arrowhead Stadium.

The opponent that will meet Patrick Mahomes and company in Kansas City, however, remains to be revealed.

Which NFL teams have international games in 2023?

While the majority of the matchups set to take place next season have yet to be announced, the league has already revealed which teams will head overseas for international showdowns.

Below is the full list of international NFL games for the 2023-24 season, with three in London, U.K., and two in Frankfurt, Germany.

Falcons vs. Jaguars: Week 4, Oct. 1 at 9:30 a.m. ET | Wembley Stadium in London, U.K.

Jaguars vs. Bills: Week 5, Oct. 8 at 9:30 a.m. ET | Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London, U.K.

Ravens vs. Titans: Week 6, Oct. 15 at 9:30 a.m. ET | Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London, U.K.

Dolphins vs. Chiefs: Week 9, Nov. 5 at 9:30 a.m. ET | Frankfurt Stadium in Frankfurt, Germany

Colts vs. Patriots: Week 10, Nov. 12 at 9:30 a.m. ET | Frankfurt Stadium in Frankfurt, Germany

RELATED: NFL’s 2023 international games full of “star power”

When is the Super Bowl and where will it be taking place?

Stars will be shining bright in Las Vegas, Nevada, for Super Bowl LVIII, set to take place on Feb. 11, 2024, at the home of the Raiders in Allegiant Stadium.

This will be the first Super Bowl to ever take place in Las Vegas, which hosted the 2023 Pro Bowl and 2022 NFL Draft.

Be sure to follow ProFootballTalk for the latest news, updates, and storylines about the upcoming NFL season!