"It’s absolutely inexcusable," Smith told Cowherd. "How did they ever get to this point? I mean, Aaron [Rodgers] has been there for 16 years. What he’s given to that organization, and what happened last year during the draft. I haven’t talked to Aaron about this, so I don’t want to put words into his mouth, but clearly, you watch the interview and him talking about it."
Smith continued by saying that he doesn’t think drafting Jordan Love in the first round of the 2020 draft was the issue, but he believes the lack of communication between the organization and Rodgers was the problem. He believes the Packers blindsided Rodgers by not addressing the idea that they may be taking a quarterback, and that everyone was OK with the decision.
Smith said before the Kansas City Chiefs decided to take Patrick Mahomes in the 2017 NFL Draft, the front office and staff, including head coach Andy Reid, told Smith multiple times that there was a chance they may take a quarterback. Smith says he respected the organization for how they handled the situation.
"You [the Packers] aren’t going out of your way to make sure that he knows that he’s loved," Smith continued. "And that they want him there. That we may be taking a quarterback in the first round and we want to make sure you are OK with it. This is maybe what we’re doing… How you haven’t treated him the right way leading up to that and to the fact from my understanding it's kind of like a bit of an unknown. And you go from taking a receiver, you’re thinking you are a move away from the Super Bowl, and then blindsided with a pick.
"I just don’t understand how you haven’t addressed that beforehand and really made sure that everything is tightened up, and everybody is feeling good about that because if it’s not, then you’re not doing it… Sixteen years this guy has been there. You’re on the doorstep of the Super Bowl, and you don’t go out of your way to communicate that and to show that he’s wanted."
Rodgers spoke out for the first time regarding his issues with the team’s front office during an appearance on ESPN’s "SportsCenter" in longtime anchor Kenny Mayne’s final show on Monday night.
Rodgers talked about his love for his teammates, including recently drafted quarterback Jordan Love, as well as the coaching staff and Packers fans, but he made it clear in a philosophical point that organizations are built "by the people."
Rodgers also confirmed that he did not attend Monday’s organized team activities.
Green Bay has made it clear that it has no intentions of trading away the reigning NFL MVP. However, it seems as if Rodgers may want to play elsewhere when the 2021 season kicks off.