Former Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith, who knows a thing or two about being cut off as a starter and having his replacement draft squad, said Aaron Rodgers’ management by the Packers was “inexcusable.”
Here is one of the reasons for Smith’s belief. Rodgers had no idea the Packers were planning to trade for Jordan Love in the first round of the 2020 Draft. Smith, on the other hand, was well aware of Kansas City’s plan.
“Yes, definitely,” Smith told Colin Cowherd of Smith’s awareness of Patrick Mahones’ progression. ” One hundred percent. . . . I speak several times. . . . There were no surprises, it was absolutely planned for me. And I think it all helps when it’s communicated. The way you treat people makes a difference. “
Kansas City’s interest in Mahomes was one of the best-kept secrets of the 2017 Draft. Indeed, a small handful of NFL coaches fell in love with Mahomes, they kept their point of view silent. and the media / draftniks had no idea Mahomes was so respected. Telling Smith what the Chiefs were planning to do required the Chiefs to place significant trust in Smith. Had he known that the Chiefs had planned to trade to recruit his replacement, Smith could easily have divulged that information, in an effort to get someone else to recruit Mahomes before the Chiefs.
This is an important factor to take into account when trying to figure out why the Packers didn’t tell Rodgers about the Love trade plan. Considering the Packers didn’t warn Rodgers at all, it’s easy to say they should have at least called him a few minutes before the trade was made and the card was submitted. But if the Packers had given Rodgers a shallow courtesy call seconds before calling Love, would that have been enough?
Probably not. Rodgers would have had questions. Rodgers would have been upset, confused. To get a full and proper opinion, the Packers should have told him long before the first night of the draft. They should have had as many conversations with Rodgers as the bosses had with Smith, and maybe more.
So here is the real question. Didn’t the Packers trust Rodgers with this information? In other words, were the Packers concerned that Rodgers would have let it be known that the Packers were targeting Love, in the hopes that someone else would have him?
The Packers will never reveal their reasons for not talking about love to Rodgers. But there aren’t many potential explanations. First, they didn’t think about doing it. Second, they decided not to, because Rodgers is just working on it and has no right to expect to know about these plans. Third, they decided not to do so to protect secrecy – whether against accidental or intentional disclosure.
The fact that Rodgers had no animosity towards the coaching staff suggests that coach Matt LaFleur had no idea of the plan to switch to Love, either. Maybe this was part of the plan to keep Rodgers’ information; if LaFleur had known, there was no way he wouldn’t have given Rodgers a warning.
Whatever the real reason for the team’s failure to tell Rodgers about the love, the one move sums up the dysfunction that currently exists between the franchise and its franchise quarterback.