Aaron Rodgers never seemed to like Mike McCarthy, and now we might know why their marriage was doomed to fail.
Despite the Super Bowl title, the eight consecutive playoff appearances and the immense amount of winning the Green Bay Packers did during the 12-plus seasons the quarterback and the coach were paired together, Rodgers always appeared frustrated by McCarthy.
Over the years, cameras have caught the star quarterback rolling his eyes at McCarthy and yelling in frustration at play calls, and the two had a heated exchange during a dreadful 2013 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals.
Was Rodgers' problem with McCarthy born from the wear and tear of a 12-year relationship? Was it frustration at the lack of imagination in the Packers' offensive scheme? Was ego the main culprit?
Thanks to an explosive piece from Bleacher Report's Tyler Dunne, new light has been shown on the toxic relationship, and the true reason for their disconnect was revealed.
In the lead-up to the 2005 NFL Draft, many believed Rodgers was destined to be the 49ers' pick at No. 1 overall. That never came to fruition, as the 49ers and McCarthy, who then was the team’s offensive coordinator, chose Alex Smith over Rodgers. That led to Rodgers' tortuous stint in the NFL draft green room before the Packers took him at No. 24.
Rodgers never forgave McCarthy for that, former Packer Ryan Grant told Dunne.
"Aaron's always had a chip on his shoulder with Mike," Grant said. "The guy who ended up becoming your coach passed on you when he had a chance. Aaron was upset that Mike passed on him—that Mike actually verbally said that Alex Smith was a better quarterback."
One year after the 49ers passed on Rodgers and caused him to sit in embarrassment for four-and-a-half hours on national television, McCarthy became Rodgers’ coach, but the quarterback apparently never forgave him.
As the years wore on and the Packers' offense stagnated, Rodgers became upset with McCarthy's inability to adapt his scheme to the changing NFL.
"Mike has a low football IQ, and that used to always bother Aaron," a source told Dunne. "He'd say Mike has one of the lowest IQs, if not the lowest IQ, of any coach he's ever had."
The anger and resentment sat and festered throughout their tenure together. According to Dunne, Rodgers never directly addressed any issues, allowing his annoyance with his coach to further poison the relationship until McCarthy finally was fired in December after a loss to the Arizona Cardinals.
Now, Rodgers has a new coach, former Titans offensive coordinator Matt LaFleur, a bright offensive mind who should challenge Rodgers and inject life into Green Bay's offense. At least, that's the hope.
Rodgers and McCarthy won a lot together, but their relationship apparently was dead on arrival due to McCarthy's decision to draft Smith over Rodgers in 2005.
It just took a while to be officially pronounced dead.