No, Sullivan isn’t as big of a name as Za’Darius Smith, and he’s certainly no Brett Favre, but the corner who spent the last three seasons in Green Bay is supposedly still hearing it from Packers fans.
Packers becoming Vikings is not all that uncommon
Sullivan is far from the only Packer to end up wearing Viking purple.
Most notable was the time Favre ended his career in Minnesota after 16 seasons in Green Bay. It was already strange enough to see Favre wearing the jersey of Green Bay’s archrival, but at least Packer fans had a season of the ol’ gunslinger with the New York Jets to get used to the idea of him in a different uniform.
Still, it was eerie the first time Favre walked into Lambeau as a visitor. He ended up beating Aaron Rodgers and the Pack, 30-23, while tossing three touchdowns and no interceptions. It was, frankly, one of the more impressive showings in Favre’s career, especially considering the backdrop of the game.
Another notable name to make the switch was kicker Ryan Longwell, who spent the first nine seasons of his career with the Packers before spending the next six with the Vikings.
Receiver Greg Jennings ditched Green Bay for Minnesota as well, though that was perhaps not the best move of his career. He won a Super Bowl with Rodgers and the Packers and was considered one of the best wideouts in the NFL at the time. He lasted only two years in Minnesota, and his career sputtered out with a one-touchdown season for the Miami Dolphins.
Who knows how long his career would have been had he stuck with Rodgers?
The first-ever Packer to go directly to the Vikings was wide receiver Carroll Dale, who was in Green Bay from 1965 to 1972 before spending the 1973 season with the Vikings.
Dale went to three Pro Bowls with the Packers and won two Super Bowls and one NFL championship (1965). His Vikings team won the 1973 NFC Championship Game but ultimately lost to Bob Griese and the Miami Dolphins in Super Bowl 8.
Chandon Sullivan says Green Bay Packers fans are calling him a traitor
Again, it’s worth noting that it’s not highly uncommon for Packers players to end up on the Vikings. In fact, tons of notable players have ended up signing within their old team’s division in NFL history. It makes sense from a familiarity standpoint for the player, and the new team gets to “stick it” to one of its rivals.
The NFC North has seen plenty of examples of this phenomenon, and the Packers have been the beneficiary of such moves. Julius Peppers left the Chicago Bears, signed with Green Bay, and became a cornerstone of the Packers defense from 2014 to 2016.
Currently, the Packers boast one of the more consistent safeties in the league in Adrian Amos. He spent the first four seasons of his career in Chicago after the Bears selected him in the fifth round of the 2015 NFL Draft.
So frankly, it doesn’t make a ton of sense to hear that Packers fans are giving Sullivan that hard of a time for taking the money Minnesota offered him. Speaking with Chris Tomasson of the Pioneer Press, though, the former Packer said that is the case.
“Some fans say I’m a traitor but they’ve got to understand, we don’t pick ourselves, the GM (does),” Sullivan said. “(The comments) are kind of funny, but it comes with the territory.”
These supposed Packers fans should be embarrassed
If what Sullivan is saying is accurate, and in today’s internet age, it likely is, these supposed Packers fans should be embarrassed by themselves.
It’s not as if Sullivan demanded a trade to Minnesota or walked out on his old team while cussing out the fans, the stadium, and everyone who works in it. It’s not like he took off his Green Bay jersey, burnt it, and sold the team’s secrets to the rest of the NFC North on the way out the door.
Heck, it’s not as if he threatened to retire over and over again before ultimately doing so and then going back on that retirement, only to find out that the team was willing to move on to a younger, more exciting player.
That sounds kind of familiar in Green Bay, doesn’t it?
No, all Sullivan did was do what was best for his family and signed with the organization that wanted him and paid him as such. He was a free agent, and that’s what free agents do.
The Packers had the opportunity to re-sign Sullivan had they wanted to, but they chose to let him walk out the door, and Minnesota is where he ended up.
Sullivan even admitted that the transition is a bit strange: “It’s kind of weird being actually a Vikings player now when for the last three seasons they’ve been my rival, but that’s just how the league works.’’
That’s not being a traitor. That’s being a business person, and ultimately, the NFL is a business. As Sullivan said, that’s how the league works.
Every fanbase has its “fanatics” who give the team a bad name, and Green Bay is no different. That’s abundantly clear based on the underserved flack Sullivan is supposedly getting from Packers “fans”.
[Editor’s note: An earlier version did not clarify that Carroll Dale was the first Packer to go directly to the Vikings, instead stating he was the first Packer to later join the Vikings.]