Whether Brett Favre and Brad Childress sat on a bench in the back yard of Favre's Mississippi home on Wednesday night and shot the breeze about the quarterback playing for the Vikings is unknown.
But Childress reportedly left the Twin Cities on a commercial flight Wednesday and, according to people with knowledge of the situation, the Vikings coach was scheduled to begin meeting with the for-now-retired, record-setting quarterback over dinner. Discussions about Favre wearing a Vikings uniform this fall will continue today, most likely in Hattiesburg.
One key topic will be the condition of the partially torn biceps in Favre's throwing arm that derailed his only season as a member of the New York Jets. But a resolution to that situation appears close -- and the sides could reach a deal quickly.
Favre, according to NFL sources, is agreeable to undergoing a minor procedure in which surgeons complete the cutting of the tendon. The recovery period would be quick, and Favre would be ready to go long before training camp.
Indications are Favre is as anxious to join the Vikings as Childress is to have him running an offense that includes Pro Bowl running back Adrian Peterson and wide receivers Bernard Berrian and Percy Harvin.
"I try not to get too caught up in it because I don't want to get too overexcited, thinking that he's coming and then all of a sudden he doesn't," Berrian said. "He would be a great addition to the team. He's a great player. He's done so much for the NFL by himself. He definitely would bring leadership to the team.
"He's been in the league for 17, 18 years and to have a player of his caliber come in, it speaks volumes for what he can do for this team."
The Favre saga took on a life of its own Wednesday, just as it did last summer when he decided he didn't want to retire and ended up trying to force his way from the Packers to the Vikings. Favre eventually was traded to the Jets, who released him from the reserve/retired list last week.
ESPN had a reporter in front of Winter Park for much of the day. Favre's agent, Bus Cook, told USA Today he knew little about his client's potential return and refuted a number of reports from multiple media outlets. And Gov. Tim Pawlenty told the Associated Press signing Favre would be "a wonderful little salt to rub in the eyes of some of our Green Bay Packer friends. Can you imagine Brett Favre going into Lambeau Field in Viking purple and maybe even wearing No. 4?"
Favre has never been a fan of offseason programs, but ESPN reported Tuesday that Childress would expect the three-time NFL MVP to participate fully in offseason minicamps. That's where the injured arm would come into play; although Favre might be hoping the tendon completely tears by itself, so that it may begin the priocess of healing naturally, undergoing surgery could be the most attractive option. It would fix the problem and eliminate questions about whether Favre would take part in all of the Vikings' Organized Team Activities and the mandatory minicamp, which runs May 29-31.
Favre could attend certain dates of the OTAs or minicamps after the surgery in order to become familiar with his new teammates and learn certain elements of the offense, but he likely wouldn't throw a pass until training camp opens this summer in Mankato.
Berrian, though, sounds like he would get started as soon as possible.
"It could be great. We definitely need to get in and get some work together so we can really mesh," he said. "I think that's one of the things they're going to be talking about when they have this meeting. Is he going to be around [for offseason mini-camps] or what's going to go on with that? That's one of the things that they're going to have to discuss."
One person who wouldn't be surprised to see Favre introduced as a Viking is former Packers and Vikings safety Darren Sharper. Sharper, who signed with New Orleans in March, played with Favre in Green Bay and knows his former teammate would love nothing more than to face the Packers twice a season.
Favre, who turns 40 in October, has felt hostility toward the Packers, and general manager Ted Thompson in particular, since he decided last summer that he had made a mistake by announcing his retirement in March 2008 and tried to return. Favre then attempted to force his way to the Vikings before being traded to the Jets.
"This is a perfect opportunity for him not only to come back," Sharper told ESPN, "but also to put a foot in Ted Thompson's rear."
Join Judd Zulgad and Chip Scoggins for a Live Chat on Brett Favre and the Vikings at noon today on startribune.com.