In the end, the NFL's man of mystery didn't leave much room at all for guesswork.
If Brett Favre's arm is sufficiently healed, he'll be playing quarterback for the Minnesota Vikings this season.
The league's three-time most valuable player said as much Monday night on the premiere episode of HBO's "Joe Buck Live," when, as the program's first guest, he confirmed A) he had a surgical procedure on his throwing shoulder about 2 1/2 weeks ago; B) he declined an invitation by Vikings Coach Brad Childress to attend last week's organized team-activity practices; and C) he is comfortable with the idea of trotting onto Green Bay's Lambeau Field wearing a purple No. 4 jersey.
"I don't know what to tell them," Favre said, when asked about Packers fans. "Vince Lombardi went to the Washington Redskins when he left. His name's on the trophy. We give that trophy out every year. I don't hear too many people say, 'That traitor, he went to Washington.'
"Time heals a lot of things. I have nothing but the highest regard for Green Bay. And I mean that sincerely. Did some things happen there that may have ruffled the feathers for both sides? Yes. But once again, the 16 years I spent there, you can't take away. I wouldn't change it for anything in the world. They chose to go in a different direction, and that's OK. I chose to play again, and that's OK.
"I have former players, friends of mine, I have family saying, 'I can't picture you playing anywhere but Green Bay.' . . . It's football. It's not life or death."
The Vikings already have two quarterbacks expected to vie for the No. 1 job -- Tarvaris Jackson and Sage Rosenfels -- but Favre would go to Minnesota only to be the starter. The move would reunite him with offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell, his close friend and a former quarterbacks coach in Green Bay.
"It makes perfect sense as far as coming back because it's an offense that I ran for 16 years," Favre said, adding: "I could teach the offense."
A short time later, the quarterback made what might have been his most telling comment, when -- perhaps in a slip -- he used "we" when referring to the Vikings.
"They do have a great running back, they have a great running game," he said. "If I go there, there's no guarantees, we all know that. I went through that last year in New York. I think every player should think that he is a difference maker. . . .
"In that situation, understanding what is expected of you, knowing your team, knowing that as long as we can run the ball and complete passes when needed, we should be pretty good."
Basically, Favre said, his decision hinges on the health of his right arm and shoulder, which was operated on by renowned surgeon James Andrews. Favre said he was told the typical recovery time for his type of upper biceps procedure is four or five weeks.
"I don't think you can go past anything more than the arm," said Favre, who turns 40 in October. "If that's not up to par -- and is not up to par when the time comes -- then you can't play. I went through it last year, and I gutted it out or whatever, but it affected me, and it affected our team. I can't do that again, and I won't do that again. . . .
"As I rehab and continue to throw, if it ever gets to the point where it feels like it did before it started hurting, then the biggest question mark is out of the way."