Alex Smith knows Aaron Rodgers very well as the two were drafted in the first round back in 2005. Smith announced his retirement in April, and Rodgers may not play this season as he's frustrated with the Packers front office. Smith recently spoke to Jori Epstein of USA Today Sports and shared his thoughts on what's going in with Rodgers and the Packers.
"Clearly it's not an ideal situation and not what it should be," Smith told Epstein this week, per NFL.com. "I think he's due a certain level of communication and certain level of respect beyond the average player. And I don't think that's asking a whole lot just to communicate. Clearly that didn't happen over the last couple years." Smith knows what Rodgers is going through. In his NFL career, Smith was replaced by younger quarterbacks twice. When he was with the San Francisco 49ers, Smith was replaced by Colin Kaepernick. When Smith was with the Kansas City Chiefs, he was replaced by Patrick Mahomes.
Last year, the Packers, drafted Jordan Love in the first round, indicating he will be the new starting quarterback. Rodgers has no issues with Love but admitted that move put the wheels in motion to think about his future.
"Here's a guy who's given 16 years to an organization, he's been through a lot of changes there as well, he's coming off maybe one of the greatest quarterback seasons ever, still playing at an incredibly high level," Smith said. "You rewind to a year ago and all the talk was: 'Is Aaron done? Is he on the decline? Yada yada yada.' He played right through that. They've been on the doorstep of the Super Bowl the last couple years. So I think it's hard."
Rodgers talked about his issues with the Packers with Kenny Mayne on SportsCenter in May and alluded to the personnel moves being key to his frustrations. "A lot of this was put in motion last year, and the wrench was just kind of thrown into it when I won MVP and played the way I played last year," Rodgers said. "This is just kind of, I think, a spill-out of all that. But it is about the people, and that's the most important thing. Green Bay has always been about the people — from Curly Lambeau being owner and founder to the '60s with [Vince] Lombardi and Bart Starr and all those incredible names to the '90s teams with coach [Mike] Holmgren and Favrey [Brett Favre] and the Minister of Defense [Reggie White] to the run that we've been on."