Recently retired Washington quarterback Alex Smith said Green Bay failed to communicate with Aaron Rodgers in the last couple of years
The conflict between Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers doesn’t seem to get any closer to being resolved as the days go by, and with the players off the premises until the start of training camp late next month, there is likely to be a wait some time to know which direction the dispute takes.
However, another quarterback closely associated with Rodgers contributed his point of view on the drama in Green Bay.RELATED
The careers of Alex Smith and Aaron Rodgers were inevitably intertwined in the first round of the 2005 Draft. WireImage
“It’s clearly not an ideal situation and it’s not what it should be,” recently retired Alex Smith said in an interview via Zoom with USA TODAY Sports. “I think he owes a certain level of communication and a certain level of respect beyond the average player. And, I don’t think it’s asking too much just to communicate.
“Clearly, that didn’t happen over the last couple of years.”
Rodgers blamed the philosophy of the management as the cause of his discomfort with the Packers in an interview with Kenny Mayne on ESPN’s “SportsCenter” in late May, stressing that he had no problem with Jordan Love, the quarterback he chose. Green Bay in the first round of last year’s draft.
“With my situation, look, it’s never been about the draft pick, picking Jordan,” Rodgers told Mayne. “I love Jordan; he’s a great guy. We have fun working together. I love the coaching group, I love my teammates, I love the fans in Green Bay. It’s been an amazing 16 years. It’s just about a philosophy and maybe forgetting. it’s about people making things move. It’s about character, it’s about culture, it’s about doing things the right way. “
Smith appeared to validate Rodgers’ point of view, in his interview with USA TODAY Sports.
“Here’s a guy who’s given the organization 16 years, he’s been there despite a lot of changes, too. He’s coming off perhaps one of the best seasons for a quarterback in history, still playing at an incredibly high level,” Smith said. . “You go back to a year ago and all the talk was, ‘Is Aaron done? Is he on the decline? Yada yada yada.’ He played in the middle of it all. They’ve been on the doorstep of the Super Bowl the last couple of times. of the year, so I think it’s complicated.
The Packers have publicly maintained their desire to have Rodgers back for “2021 and beyond,” as team president Mark Murphy put it earlier this offseason, but it is unclear whether Rodgers will report for camp. training session next month, or he will stay away in an attempt to force a trade. Ever since news of Rodgers’ conflict with the Packers broke the afternoon before the start of the first round of the 2021 Draft, the Packers have insisted he will not be traded.
In Smith’s opinion, the Packers have not delivered on their quarterback.
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“The way people have been treated, he has come out and said that, practically,” Smith told the newspaper. “So I think it’s important in any business, not just football, but any business, especially a team sport, I think it’s important how you treat people. Really, I think it hasn’t been ideal there. I hope so. can solve “.
Smith recently experienced his own drama with the last organization he played for, the Washington Football Team. The quarterback won the Comeback of the Year award in the 2020 campaign after leading Washington 5-1 and to a divisional title, after returning from a dramatic, life-threatening leg injury that required multiple interventions throughout. long for almost two years.
Washington released Smith in early March, and in April, the quarterback announced his retirement.
In an interview with GQ magazine, published this offseason, Smith described feeling despised by Washington as he completed his rehabilitation and recovery process to return to the field.
Alex Smith hopes the differences will be resolved, because he doesn’t want to see Aaron Rodgers wearing another uniform. Getty Images
“They don’t see me, they don’t want me there, they don’t want me to be part of them, they don’t want me within the team, the squad, they don’t want to give me a chance,” Smith told the magazine. injured. At this point, as you can imagine, I’ve been through it all. I can’t believe they care so little. “
Smith and Rodgers were inevitably linked for life, being the first two quarterbacks selected in the 2005 NFL Draft. Smith was chosen first overall by the San Francisco 49ers, who opted for the Utah product before Rodgers, who played just a few miles for Cal in Berkley.
Rodgers fell sharply in the first-round pick order, until he fell into the lap of the Packers, who still had Brett Favre as the starter. Rodgers spent three years as Favre’s backup, until he announced his first retirement and Green Bay gave him control of the offense. With Rodgers as quarterback, the Packers conquered Super Bowl XLV with Mike McCarthy as head coach, who previously was San Francisco’s offensive coordinator and one of those responsible for the Niners choosing Smith before Rodgers with the first overall pick in the draft.
“Just being a fan, I hope you can figure it out and correct it, because it would be rare to see him in a different uniform,” Smith – who played for three different franchises in his career – told USA TODAY Sports of Rodgers. “I certainly hope he has the opportunity to finish his career there.”
Rodgers skipped his only real offseason obligation, the Packers’ mandatory minicamp, and was subject to fines of up to $ 93,085. Also, he missed the entire offseason program, thus forgoing a $ 500,000 training bonus.
Information from Rob Demovsky and John Keim was used in the writing of this note.