This offseason has a basically unprecedented amount of dissatisfaction among top quarterbacks with their franchises. We’ve had months of rumors about the potential for Aaron Rodgers, Russell Wilson, and Deshaun Watson to force their way off of their respective teams.
While player empowerment has swept major sports over the last few years, not everyone is thrilled with players using their leverage to change their situations. Among them: former Green Bay Packers general manager Ron Wolf, the architect of the team’s 1996-97 Super Bowl team.
“We have a lot of divas playing in the league right now,” Wolf said during a media appearance this week. “I fail to understand that all these guys have long-term deals. I can’t believe the game has changed that remarkably.”
Among those coming to the quarterbacks’ defense this week: FS1’s Colin Cowherd. He says that Ron Wolf is right, the game has changed drastically in the 20 years that he’s been out of the league, and that the players are not divas, they’re reacting to the importance of the quarterback position, and their desire for their teams to field competitive rosters and have some transparency about the moves that are being made that affect them directly.
"Aaron Rodgers and Russell Wilson are not divas. They're all-time great talents who are simply seeking competency."
— Herd w/Colin Cowherd (@TheHerd) May 18, 2021
“Ron Wolf, I know he’s a legend, but he needs to join the ‘just stop talking’ club. He left the NFL 20 years ago,” Cowherd said. “It was different… You could literally have an average quarterback, your best player be a running back, have a good defense, and make Super Bowls. ”
Cowherd dove in on how much different the league is now, where having an elite quarterback like a Wilson or Rodgers is the most important thing when it comes to winning championships. He also made some comparisons to LeBron James‘ own aggressive career decisions and his teams’ roster management, constantly surrounding him with players ready to win now.
“The bottom line is, the league is all offense. The quarterbacks are everything… So Russell Wilson, Aaron Rodgers, and Deshaun Watson are not divas. They’re all-time great talents that are seeking competency. This is the downside to being great… These guys aren’t demanding everybody be as good as them. Aaron’s just asking ‘Could you give me a heads up on my quarterbacks coach? Could you give me a heads if you’re going to draft my replacement?’ It’s called respect, not diva.”
For Aaron Rodgers, that last part is key. The Green Bay Packers have made move after move that they had to know would irk their legendary quarterback, and rarely if ever looped him in on the decision. While the trade request remains up in the air, it is absolutely no surprise that he is fed up with how things have gone, while he’s guided the team to back-to-back NFC Championships.