Aaron Rodgers' Treatment by Packers Has Been 'Inexcusable,' Alex Smith Says

Blake SchusterContributor IMay 26, 2021

GREEN BAY, WI - AUGUST 28: Alex Smith #11 of the Kansas City Chiefs and Aaron Rodgers #12 of the Green Bay Packers walk off the field after the Packers defeated the Chiefs 34-14 during the preseason game on August 28, 2014 at Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wisconsin. (Photo by John Konstantaras/Getty Images)
John Konstantaras/Getty Images

Former long-time quarterback Alex Smith called the Green Bay Packers' treatment of Aaron Rodgers "inexcusable" during a Wednesday sit-down with Colin Cowherd on his Fox Sports radio show The Herd.

Smith admitted he hasn't talked to Rodgers about the QB's desire to leave the Packers this offseason, but said he thinks the way the team drafted quarterback Jordan Love in the first round of last year's draft without communicating the plan to Rodgers was disrespectful. 

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Herd w/Colin Cowherd @TheHerd

The Packers treatment of Aaron Rodgers is "inexcusable," according to Alex Smith:<br><br>"I don't think it's the fact they drafted Jordan Love in the first round... You were on the doorstep of the Super Bowl and don't communicate that?" pic.twitter.com/9VrExd1GZO

"It's about the people. ... I don't think it was the fact that they drafted Jordan Love in the first round," Smith explained. "How do you have a guy like Aaron and you don't go make sure beforehand you [go] out of your way to make sure that he knows that he's loved, that they want him there?" 

It's a situation Smith knows a bit about. 

The Kansas City Chiefs drafted Patrick Mahomes No. 10 overall in 2017 while Smith was still the team's starting quarterback and had just led KC to an AFC West title the year before. Smith would go on to mentor Mahomes for the 2017 season before the Texas Tech product took over the starting role a year later. 

Smith said the Chiefs kept him informed of their plan with Mahomes from the start and was communicated multiple times throughout the personnel department. 

That wasn't the case with Rodgers, who has been with the Packers since 2005, won three MVP awards and delivered Green Bay's first Super Bowl victory in 14 years—to say nothing of nearly winning it all again the year before Love was drafted. 

"You don't make sure everyone is on the same page and feeling good about that?" Smith said. "I think that's not just football, that's any business or team."

Rodgers confirmed to ESPN's Kenny Mayne his relationship with the Packers has been strained significantly, but added the way the team handled Love wasn't the breaking point. It was a culmination of slights that eventually boiled over. 

ESPN @espn

Aaron Rodgers spoke with @Kenny_Mayne about where he stands with the Packers: pic.twitter.com/VeSBspFVLL

"With my situation, look it's never been about the draft pick, picking Jordan," Rodgers said. "I love Jordan; he's a great kid. [We've had] a lot of fun to work together. Love the coaching staff, love my teammates, love the fan base in Green Bay. An incredible 16 years. It's just kind of about a philosophy and maybe forgetting that it is about the people that make the thing go. It's about character, it's about culture, it's about doing things the right way."