It is becoming increasingly rare for an athlete to spend an entire career with one club. There is the salary cap to thank for that in professional leagues all over the world, where underperforming clubs have money to spend on top players and the top clubs face the uncomfortable reality of not being to keep every player happy when that player has the chance to compare his on-filed accomplishments to the salaries earned by similar players.
Cooper Cronk is one notable exception. He has played his entire career for the Melbourne Storm, over 300 games, something of a rarity in and of itself in a sport where large men with no protective equipment collide with regularity.
Cronk intends to leave the Storm following this season and it could be an opportune moment to leave at the top, so long as the Storm can maintain something like the pace they have set in the initial month of the 2017 Telstra NRL Premiership competition.
Cronk plans to move to Sydney to live with his fiancée, Tara Rushton, which has ignited a firestorm of speculation that Cronk might turn up on the lists of the West Tigers, Parramatta Eels or the Canterbury Bulldogs, but so long as we are speaking hypothetically, the Rabbitohs should be a part of the conversation, should they not?
If Cronk does listen to the overtures of the Sydney clubs, it would be the first time in the 109-year history of the game that a player with 300 or more games with one club hit the market.