The 49ers never will escape the fact that they selected Alex Smith over Aaron Rodgers with the top pick in the 2005 NFL Draft.
Smith had a strong and admirable professional career. He's not Rodgers, though. Not even close.
And Rodgers won't forget, too.
On the latest episode of the 49ers Talk podcast, CEO Jed York recalled to NBC Sports Bay Area's Matt Maiocco quite the awkward conversation that he had with Rodgers years after the QB fell to the Green Bay Packers with the No. 24 overall pick instead of staying home and being selected by San Francisco.
"I actually ran into Aaron -- this was after we lost to the Giants -- in Indianapolis. I saw him at one of the NFL events," York said to Maiocco. "I said hello to him and he kind of gave me a glare.
"I was like, 'Look man, I'm sorry we didn't take you but I think your career worked out pretty well and I don't know that we could have given you the same things Green Bay was able to give you. I'm happy for you.'
"He's like, 'I would have still done really well if you guys would have drafted me.' I'm just like, 'I get it. I understand, I understand. Hindsight's 20/20. I get it.' "
The 49ers lost to the Giants in the 2011 NFC Championship Game, so this talk had to have taken place in 2012, nearly seven years after the 49ers opted not to draft Rodgers. At that point, Rodgers already won his lone Super Bowl ring, was a Super Bowl MVP, had made two Pro Bowls, was named All-Pro once and was just coming off his first NFL MVP season.
Bitter? Just a little bit.
Rodgers might be mad with Green Bay now, but he clearly never will forget the 49ers' big mistake.