Alex Smith calls way Packers have treated Rodgers ‘inexcusable’ originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea
The situation between Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers continues to sour as the QB did not report to the beginning of OTAs. Each day, it feels as if the organization is getting closer to a potential breakup with its MVP and future Hall of Fame quarterback.
Recently, Rodgers spoke on ESPN’s Sportscenter and noted that the problems stem from a difference in “philosophy” and that it is about the “people.”
Whatever is at the root of the problem, former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Alex Smith believes it should have never gotten to this point, and that the team is in the wrong.
“It’s inexcusable,” Smith said on The Herd with Colin Cowherd.
Rodgers also stated in his interview that the disdain was not fueled by the selection of quarterback Jordan Love in the 2020 NFL Draft, one that Rodgers reportedly was unaware of.
Still, Smith feels that moment did have an impact on the downfall of the relationship. Not because Rodgers has anything against Love, but because he was in the dark during a major decision for the franchise that impacted himself. The star not being included in the discussions is insulting to Smith.
“It’s about the people, and it is and Aaron’s been there that long. And I don’t think it was the fact that they drafted Jordan Love in the first round, I think the fact, how do you have a guy like Aaron and you don’t go make sure beforehand you aren’t going out of your way to make sure that he knows that he’s loved, that they want him there,” Smith said. “That we may be taking a quarterback in the first round, we want to make sure you’re okay with it.”
If anyone knows what Rodgers experience with the drafting of Love, it is Smith. Back in 2017, the Chiefs selected Patrick Mahomes in the first round right after Smith had led the team to the playoffs.
It’s not an identical situation to Rodgers’, as drafting Love can be viewed as a more long-term move than Mahomes who became the starter the next season. Still, there are similarities. However, the main difference is that Smith was informed ahead of time that the Chiefs were going to select a quarterback, something he appreciated.
“Yes, without a doubt. 100 percent. That was something that was talked about throughout the draft process, not just by coach [Andy] Reid,” Smith said. “Everybody involved in the personnel department. And I’m talking multiple times. ‘Hey this really might be something we’re doing, are you okay with it? This is going to be the situation.’”
“There were no surprises. It was absolutely laid out for me. And I think that all helps,” Smith said. “When that stuff is communicated, it does make a difference how you treat people.”
Having that transparency allowed Smith to prepare for the moment and still feel appreciated by the franchise. There were no real hard feelings and he ended up becoming an incredible mentor for Mahomes before departing to Washington.
Rodgers and Love appear to have a solid relationship and there is no bad blood between those two, but the problem in Green Bay lies within the transparency. Rodgers didn’t get it, and Smith can’t understand how that could happen.
Looking beyond just the Packers, or even the NFL, he believes that how the team handled Rodgers is something that wouldn’t pan out in any type of work environment.
“It’s just not the way you run a business, it’s not the way you’re treating people. 16 years this guy’s been there,” Smith said. “You were on the doorstep of the Super Bowl and you don’t go out of your way to communicate that ‘hey you’re wanted,’…I think that’s not just football, that’s any business or team.”