NFL rumors: Aaron Rodgers never forgave Mike McCarthy for drafting Alex Smith


NFL rumors: Aaron Rodgers never forgave Mike McCarthy for drafting Alex Smith

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.

[RELATED: How many starters can 49ers expect from NFL draft?]

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.

NFL rumors: Nick Bosa first on Cardinals' draft board, ex-player says

NFL rumors: Nick Bosa first on Cardinals' draft board, ex-player says

Nick Bosa or Kyler Murray. Kyler Murray or Nick Bosa.

That appears to be the debate going on in Arizona, as the Cardinals hold the No. 1 overall pick in Thursday's NFL draft.

Murray long has been rumored to be the Cardinals' choice at No. 1, but the team reportedly has cooled as of late on taking the Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback.

That sentiment continued Monday when former NFL player Antonio Bryant claimed he has heard Bosa is No. 1 on the Cardinals' draft board.

The Cardinals, of course, used their 2018 first-round pick to select a QB in Josh Rosen. With all of the speculation surrounding the Cardinals and Murray, Rosen has found himself at the center of trade talks -- with the Giants and Dolphins reportedly showing the most interest.

But according to Bryant, Rosen would be staying in Arizona, as the Cardinals decide to shore up their defensive line by instead adding Bosa.

Meanwhile, the 49ers own the No. 2 pick in the draft and have been heavily linked to Bosa with that pick. If Bosa is off the board, as Bryant suggests, the ripple effects will be felt all over the league -- especially in San Francisco.

The 49ers appear set at QB with Jimmy Garoppolo, but they could use plenty of help on the defensive line. Alabama's Quinnen Williams and Kentucky's Josh Allen could be viable options for the Red and Gold at No. 2 if the Cardinals select Bosa.

San Francisco also could trade the No. 2 pick and receive two later first-round picks in return. If the Cardinals indeed pass on Murray, it would not be surprising if the 49ers' phone lines were flooded with potential trade offers for the dynamic Oklahoma QB.

49ers GM John Lynch indicated as much Monday afternoon when asked if he expected calls to trade up for Murray.

“I would, wouldn’t you?” Lynch said Monday at his draft preview media availability. “There seems to be a ton of interest, and I understand, man. We, a couple times, just threw him up in here [the draft room] and it’s electric stuff, it really is."

[RELATED: Lynch discusses Bosa's social media activity]

With so many rumors swirling around, it's hard to keep track of what is real and what might be a smokescreen.

Is it Thursday night yet?

49ers GM John Lynch makes assurance Robbie Gould will return as kicker


49ers GM John Lynch makes assurance Robbie Gould will return as kicker

SANTA CLARA – As expected, 49ers general manager John Lynch was short on making promises and speaking in absolutes during his pre-draft session Monday with reporters inside the team’s draft room.

But Lynch made one clear projection about the 2019 season: Robbie Gould will be the 49ers’ kicker.

“Robbie is going to be a part of us this coming year, I know that,” Lynch said of the 49ers’ unsigned franchise player. “We would like it to be longer than that. We’ve made an attempt to make it happen. We haven’t come to an agreement as of yet, and we’ll see where that goes.

“But Robbie will be a part of us this coming year, and we’re excited for that because he’s very good at what he does and he’s also a big part of this team.”

The 49ers signed Gould to a two-year, $4 million contract on the first day of free agency in 2017. As the team’s franchise player this season, he has a one-year contract for $4.9 million waiting for him. He has yet to sign the one-year tender, and Lynch said the 49ers would still like to work out a multi-year deal with him.

Gould is not taking part in the team’s offseason program. He is working on his own in the Chicago area. All indications are Gould did not want the 49ers to lock him up as the franchise player. He previously said he was looking forward to considering all options as an unrestricted free agent.

Gould, 36, ranks second all-time in NFL history with a field-goal accuracy of 87.745 percent.

The 49ers showed interest then-free agent kicker Stephen Gostkowski, NBC Sports Bay Area reported on April 9. Just hours later – and shortly before Gostkowski was scheduled to make a trip to visit the 49ers – the New England Patriots re-signed him to a contract. Gostkowski ranks No. 3 in all-time field-goal accuracy.

“We’ve got to do our due diligence in terms of being prepared for all scenarios, and Stephen was a free agent, and (he is) also very good,” Lynch said. “Our No. 1 priority in that respect was to try to figure out something with Robbie. Stephen was there. I think our interest quickly got the Patriots to lock him down.”

[RELATED: How trading No. 2 could get 49ers two first-round picks]

Lynch said he is not sure when Gould will sign and report to the team. Training camp opens in late-July, and the 49ers’ regular-season opener is scheduled for Sept. 8 at the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

“I can’t speak to when he’s going to be here,” Lynch said. “But when we kick it off, he’ll be here.”