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Speculation Over Brett Favre's Comeback Sparks Blitz Between Packers, Vikings

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Jan. 20, 2008: Brett Favre throws a pass during the first half of the NFC Championship football game in Green Bay, Wis.AP

This is a rush transcript from "On the Record ," July 17, 2008. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, HOST: The bitter rivalry between the Green Bay Packers and the Minnesota Vikings is a whole lot rougher tonight. The Packer management has reportedly filed with the NFL tampering charges against the Minnesota Vikings.

Green Bay management says Minnesota has violated the NFL rules and improperly contacted Brett Favre. Plus the intriguing question—are the Vikings trying to lure Brett Favre to Minnesota?

Video: Watch Greta's interview

On Monday we asked Brett about the idea of playing for the Packers' archrivals.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

VAN SUSTEREN: I think ahead, and in the event that you were released, that the Packers did release you, and lets say that a team picked you up that really needs a quarterback—Chicago, Baltimore, or even Minneapolis.

And the thought of that first Monday night game-I think the Packers play Minneapolis. Don't they play the Vikings?

BRETT FAVRE, FORMER GREEN BAY PACKERS QUARTERBACK: Yes.

VAN SUSTEREN: And that is also the day they're supposed to retire the Green Bay four. Having you run out in a purple uniform will make the fans crazy.

FAVRE: I have heard all of the talk like everyone else. It is hard not to.

But, you know, that has always been our biggest rival, obviously with the Bears. And did I ever think of that? No. Did I ever think it would happen? Absolutely not.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VAN SUSTEREN: "Minneapolis" Vikings? I don't think so. I meant Minnesota Vikings.

Anyway, the questions is will Brett Favre play this season, and if so, where we he play. Could he actually run onto the field opening day wearing purple?

And why is this tampering job such a big deal? Joining us live is the NFL Network's Rich Eisen, author of the book "Total Access, a Journey to the Center of the Universe."

It's nice to see you Rich. And, Rich, what is this tampering allegation?

RICH EISEN, 'NFL TOTAL ACCESS' AND 'NFL GAMEDAY': Well, basically, I guess the Packers are trying to cover every possible base to make sure that Brett Favre does not wind up in Minnesota. A tampering charge would really only bring a fine or a loss of a draft pick to Minnesota.

But perhaps this draws enough attention to the idea, to pull public opinion to the Packers side, because if there is one thing that could potentially turn Packer nation against Favre, it would be to see Number Four trot out in that purple uniform on a Monday night, on a night that's currently scheduled to be Brett Favre's number retirement ceremony at Lambeau Field—or to have him come out in a Bears uniform.

That would be something that would definitely pull more folks to the side of the Packers in this whole saga.

VAN SUSTEREN: the only exception is these are not the Eagles fans, which tend to be rougher fans. And remember that Mike Holmgren after he took the Packers to the Super Bowl. A year and a half later he returned with Seattle. And he got a standing ovation when he might have gotten the other.

So I do not know how the Packers would receive him. But let me ask you this—do we know if the Vikings have contacted Favre? Is there any evidence of that, or has Favre contacted them?

EISEN: That is just a lot of assumption. It is assumption that he spoke to the current offensive coordinator, who is a guy who he knows quite well from and Darrell Bevel's time with the Green Bay Packers as a quarterback coach. And a lot of people have assumed that those guys have talked on the phone.

Perhaps the Packers know something specific, but I know you mentioned Mike Holmgren, and he does have a street named after him in Green Bay. But Brett Favre showing up in a Vikings or Bears uniform would be something very difficult for Green Bay fan to swallow, even all those who are out there right now-rightfully in my mind, despite Aaron Rodgers being a nice guy-clamoring for Brett Favre to return.

I think the Packers should just swallow, take a deep breath, and realize what is at stake right here, and somehow, someway find a way for Favre to wind up back in Green Bay, because I think that is not just best for the team, I think it is best for everyone involved in the long run.

In the short run, however, the team may feel differently by wanting to stay true to their word by giving this team over to Aaron Rodgers.

VAN SUSTEREN: We have 30 seconds left. If you think you have polled all the coaches in the NFL and they were asked whether if they were the Green Bay coach, they would want Brett Favre, what do you think would be the results of that pole?

EISEN: I think overwhelmingly they would, but a lot of them would say my word is my bond, and if I have given it to my team and my quarterback, I need to back it up. That is what is so difficult for Mike McCarthy right now.

And I just have to tell you, Greta, if this is my last moment on the show right now, that all of us in the sports world are very jealous that you got this scoop. And to get back at you, NFL Network is going to schedules Phil Graham on our program, and we're going to talk about the mental recession and stuff like that. So we'll see if the turn about is fair play right here, Greta.

VAN SUSTEREN: Since 1960, almost every Sunday I have spent studying the Packers, so it is sort of my hidden expertise. I know about the Packers then I do about probably anything else.

Rich, thank you.

EISEN: You bet.

VAN SUSTEREN: Joining us live Packer's Hall of Famer LeRoy Butler. La-Roi played his entire NFL career with the Green Bay Packers, was all-pro five times, played in the Pro Bowl four times, named to the 1990s all decade team, played 12 seasons with the Packers, has a super bowl ring with the Packers.

And LeRoy Butler played with Brett Favre. Welcome LeRoy.

LEROY BUTLER, FORMER GREEN BAY PACKER: Hi, Greta, how are you doing?

VAN SUSTEREN: I'm doing very well. What do you make of this story out of Green Bay?

BUTLER: Well, I love it. I think it is great theater.

But this story has taken a new twist with the Minnesota Vikings even getting involved. And don't forget, they have Darren Sharpe already and Ryan Lowngwell.

Brett's probably friends with a lot of guys around the league, but just to look at that division, I think every team needs a quarterback in that division, including Detroit.

So I am not surprised. At the same time I think it will get ugly before it gets better.

VAN SUSTEREN: Do you think, having played on the team with Brett-I realize you're defense-but do you think Brett Favre could play again, and could he played as great as he has?

BUTLER: No question about it. I'd look at Brett Favre right now, and I think he is better than over half of the quarterbacks in the league.

Why wouldn't any coach want to have him? I am a huge Brett Favre fan. He has admitted that he has done a few things wrong. But I don't like the way the Green Bay Packers are treating him, because he has earned his right to make his decision as long as he wants.

But, at the same time, I understand the team wants to move on. But we are talking about the winningest quarterback in history.

So I think this should be handled better, and, hopefully, it will be.

VAN SUSTEREN: What is he liked personally?

BUTLER: He is a great guy. He is the kind of guy that you golf with, you go hunting with. He is the kind of guy that will literally give you the shirt off of his back.

If it was a situation in which a guy was going away or dying, Brett is the kind of guide that will take your family and make sure they have everything they need.

With that being said, everybody has their shortcomings. He is the kind of guy that everybody in the league would love to play with. And, trust me, if Brett Favre is back with the Green Bay Packers, I think they have a good chance at going back to the NFC championship game.

VAN SUSTEREN: All right, LeRoy, you were a great player with the Packers. You made so many Pro Bowls, and everything else, but I do not know if the viewers know this very famous thing about you. You are the architect or the inventor of the very famous "Lambeau leap." Isn't that a fact?

BUTLER: That is why I love you, Greta. You always get to the facts.

That's exactly right. It's a great thing for Green Bay, and, trust me, whenever the "Lambeau leap" is going on, that means the Packers are winning.

VAN SUSTEREN: Every time every fan out there watches the Green Bay Packers and you see Lambeau leap, know that you saw LeRoy Butler right here, the guy who started it all.

LeRoy, thank you.

BUTLER: Thank you. Anytime, Greta. Take care.

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