A team alienating a star player in part by not building around him to make a run at a championship? Green Bay Packer fans, take a seat over here in the Colorado Rockies section and let us tell you a story.
Yes, there seems to be a line you can draw between the Colorado Rockies and Nolan Arenado and the fight brewing between the Green Bay Packers and Aaron Rodgers.
Rockies fans remember well the day that Arenado, the All-Star third baseman and face of the franchise inked an eight-year, $260 million deal with the team. It seemed that Arenado would be with the Rockies well through his prime years.
But there was trouble in paradise as Arenado looked around and saw that the Rockies weren’t putting in the resources to build around him. A chance at the 2018 National League West title (potentially the first in franchise history, by the way) couldn’t even convince the front office to do more than trade for a reliever (Seunghwan Oh) and sign former Rockies outfielder Matt Holliday.
As Patrick Saunders of The Denver Post wrote in this article…
"According to the many people I’ve talked to, including Arenado, his relationship with the front office deteriorated because he believes he was told that the Rockies would try to build a winner and he didn’t think they were going in that direction."
Sound familiar, Green Bay?
Oh, don’t get me wrong. I know Green Bay has won plenty over the last few years, but it’s never been enough to capture the Lombardi Trophy and bring it back home. For a history-rich franchise like the Packers, not capturing a world championship since 2011 is simply unacceptable … for Rodgers, the fans, and anyone affiliated with the green and gold.
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But it isn’t just about the wins, is it? When it comes to Rodgers, it’s about the other things the franchise has failed to do in keeping their star player happy. That includes drafting another defensive player in the first round of this year’s draft (keeping Green Bay’s disdain for first-round offensive players moving ahead, since the Packers have only drafted three first-rounders on the offensive side of the ball since picking Rodgers in 2005).
One of those three? Well, that’s Jordan Love, the quarterback drafted last year as the heir apparent to Rodgers and a pick that Rodgers said at the time that he wasn’t thrilled with. Now, Rodgers is reportedly telling folks within the organization he won’t be back.
A franchise that has a chance to win a championship if it makes the right moves and can keep its star player happy by making those moves as well? Man, that sure sounds familiar here in the Mountain Time Zone, doesn’t it?
Of course, it’s not that simple. There is much more to it than keeping certain people happy to have a successful franchise. But when it’s Nolan Arenado or Aaron Rodgers, it seems like the happiness scale would be a little tilted in his favor, don’t you think?
Rockies fans watched as Arenado was traded to St. Louis, and the two teams will meet for the first time since the trade next weekend in St. Louis. We’re already prepared for all of the hot takes and quotes that will come out of that highly charged “reunion.”
Packers fans, have you seen Aaron Rodgers in a Green Bay uniform for the last time? Depending on what reports you read, it certainly sounds possible. If it happens and if you need some solace, we’re here for you (unless Rodgers becomes a member of the Broncos, and then we’ll understand completely if you want to keep your distance).
Two star players. Two different franchises and sports. One seemingly very similar story.