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Former Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith officially called it a career earlier this offseason. Smith was the NFL’s Comeback Player of the Year in 2020 after a miraculous return to the game following a brutal leg injury. Smith was a guest on “The Herd with Colin Cowherd” this past Wednesday to talk about football and his retirement plans.

Smith spoke openly with Cowherd, sharing his thoughts on the ongoing drama between Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers.

“It’s inexcusable,” Smith said, referring to the Packers’ treatment of Rodgers. “It’s absolutely inexcusable, I think, how they even got to this point. Aaron’s been there 16 years. What he’s given to that organization, and for what happened last year in the draft – I don’t think it’s the fact that they drafted Jordan Love. But how do you have a guy like Aaron, and you don’t go out of your way beforehand to make sure that he knows that he’s loved?”

Smith was the top overall pick in 2005 by the San Francisco 49ers, while Rodgers was notoriously selected 24th overall by the Packers in the same draft. It created some controversy with then-incumbent starter Brett Favre.

“From my understanding, he was a bit blindsided. … How haven’t you addressed that beforehand,” Smith questioned. “When you make a move like that, you really make sure everybody is feeling good about that. That’s not the way you run a business.”

Smith ironically was in a similar situation in 2017 as the Chiefs decided to select Patrick Mahomes even though Smith was still a Pro Bowl quarterback. The Chiefs’ front office, however, handled things with much more transparency with the veteran quarterback.

“That was something that was talked about throughout the draft process,” said Smith. “I’m talking multiple times. There were no surprises. It was absolutely laid out for me.”

Mahomes never had friction with Smith, who was well aware of the franchise’s long-term plans. Smith also noticed Mahomes’ greatness in practice during his rookie season, serving primarily as the backup.

“Without a doubt, you knew he could play football,” said Smith. “Midway through the year, we would compete at everything, like quarterbacks; it was a fun time. We would compete hard. I remember he jumped in for some reps running scout team against our defense, and we had a good defense at the time. He starts whipping around no-look passes, and you’re like, ‘That’s not normal.’ Who has the confidence to whip in no-look slants?”

The front office of every franchise is critical and an important factor in building a winning culture. The Chiefs handled their quarterback transition respectfully without alienating their veteran starter, and it will be interesting to see how things unfold in Green Bay with what has been a polar opposite approach.


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