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Brett Favre’s wavering nature makes it impossible to call anything official — even when it seems to be that way — but NFL sources said the quarterback began informing Vikings personnel late Monday night that he has decided to retire for a third time.

Favre’s agent, Bus Cook, did not immediately respond to text messages, nor did Vikings official. The Vikings were on the field Tuesday morning for practice, with coach Brad Childress set to address the media at 11:30.

The Vikings’ ownership group, in town for two days of meetings, huddled on the playing field with vice presidents Rob Brzezinski and Rick Spielman.

Favre has been unwilling to commit to playing a 20th NFL season, in large part because he has felt his left ankle has not responded the way he hoped after undergoing surgery in late May. However, many assumed Favre was simply buying time, as he appeared to a year ago.

In that case, Favre told coach Brad Childress he was retiring days before training camp opened but then changed his mind on Aug. 18 and joined the Vikings after one preseason game.

Nonetheless, Favre’s decision will come as a shock to the many who fully expected he would join the team once the Mankato portion of training camp ended. There still will be many who won’t be convinced Favre will stay retired until he doesn’t play a full season.

Favre, who will turn 41 on Oct. 10, had one of the best seasons of his career in 2009, throwing for 4,202 yards (his best total since 1998), 33 touchdowns (his best total since 1997) and a career-low seven interceptions in 2009.

He led the Vikings to a 12-4 record, a second consecutive NFC title and the conference championship game. Favre signed a two-year, $25 million contract last summer that would have paid him $13 million this season