Brett Favre might retire at the age of 40. (I know, I know, nobody believes that). And then again, the quarterback still might be playing 10 years from now. Or at least trying to.

Don't believe me? You don't have to. Favre said as much, in what appears to be a half-joking manner, in an interview with USA Today.

Favre starts by telling reporter Jon Saraceno that after the Vikings' overtime loss to the Saints in the NFC title game last January he thought he was done. "I can remember walking off that podium with [wife] Deanna and my family thinking, 'I'm done,'" Favre said. "I mean, my heart … it was broken."

This isn't the first time Favre thought he was done in the minutes after the season finale so as tough as that defeat was to stomach -- plus Favre was beaten up badly -- it isn't surprising he felt that way. However, on the plane flight back to the Twin Cities, Vikings players and coaches began to change the way Favre felt.

"I mean, there were tears flyin'," Favre told USA Today. "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 told Saraceno the thigh he injured against the Saints feels "great" but that his left ankle "still feels like it did before surgery" was performed in late May. The arthroscopic procedure was done to reduce pain and not restore mobility. Vikings coach Brad Childress, however, does not seem all that concerned about Favre's ankle.

Favre has now had surgery on that ankle three times. "If you do enough patchwork, eventually you've got to a get a new one," Favre said. "Hell, you gotta quit sometime. Then again, maybe I will be doing this when I'm 50 years old, who knows?"

One thing we know is that Favre won't be playing football when the Vikings open training camp on Friday in Mankato. Childress said if the quarterback decides to return he could be ready for the season in "two to three weeks." 

Talking about the yearly, "will he or won't he play" story line, Favre said: "That's the strange thing. Even I don't know. Every year, I think the decision either will be made for me, making it easier, or I will know. I'm just trying to do that right thing. If it were about money, I would have said, 'Yes,' the next day.'"

Favre is due to make $13 million this season in the second year of a $25 million contract.