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Alex Smith defends Aaron Rodgers, calls Packers’ handling of him ‘inexcusable

Packers players may not be happy with how Aaron Rodgers has handled himself during the offseason, but a recently-retired signal-caller knows where the 2011 MVP is coming from.

Alex Smith played against Rodgers a number of times over the years, so the two know each other well. And while the two weren’t known to be close, there’s a certain “code” among fellow quarterbacks, so they tend to support each other. Not only that, Smith announced his retirement two months ago, so he’s likely attempting to do whatever he can to remain relevant, by making headlines.

And that’s probably why he sided with Rodgers, recently delivering an unpopular opinion in supporting the Packers quarterback. Rodgers has come off as a diva in the eyes of many for how he’s handled himself, but Smith actually believes the Packers are to blame.

“Clearly it’s not an ideal situation,” Smith told USA Today. “Here’s a guy that’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 and still playing at an incredibly high level. You rewind to a year ago and all the talk was, ‘Is Aaron done? Is he on the decline?’ He played right through that. 

“They’ve been on the doorstep of the Super Bowl the last couple years, and so I think it’s hard. From the outside, we don’t know all the details of what went on. There’s certainly been some changes in that front office. Aaron has been there for a long, long time. He’s a Hall of Fame player. I think he’s due a certain level of respect beyond the average player. I don’t think that’s asking a whole lot.”

The Packers have always done right by Rodgers, making him the highest-paid player in NFL history just a few years ago. But he’s 37 years old now, so it’s not like they should just allocate their entire salary cap space to one player, just because he won a title over a decade ago.