Another NFL trade deadline, another year of the Buffalo Bills getting in the action.
Douglas comes to Buffalo following the season-ending injury to Tre’Davious White (Achilles)–But the Bills have also seen other players in and out of the lineup in the secondary.
When Buffalo did not have cornerbacks Dane Jackson and Christian Benford in the lineup, there was a drop off. Now the team will hope to avoid that, while potentially adding a new starting-caliber player.
Following the trade, here are 12 things to know about Douglas:
At the top of every trade discussion: What did they give up?
The Bills sent a 2024 third-round pick to the Packers for Douglas.
However, Buffalo does acquired another draft pick in 2024 from Green Bay, a Round 5 selection. In addition, it’s estimated that the Bills will have a second third rounder at next year’s draft, a compensatory selection with Tremaine Edmunds signing with the Chicago Bears last offseason.
From McDonald's to the NFL
Prior to the NFL, the New Jersey native took the junior college route to the pros. Douglas went to Nassau Community College in New York where he was named a first-team, All-American. During that time, he slept on an apartment floor because NCC doesn’t have dorms.
According to PackersNews.com, Douglas worked at a local McDonald’s part time while playing football. Not even for the money, employees got fed every shift too and a meal is what he really needed.
“It was one of those times like, if you want this, you’ve got to do it. You have to help yourself. It’s on me to find a way,” Douglas said.
That eventually led him to West Virginia.
Third rounder who rebounded
Speaking of third-round picks, that’s what Douglas was. The Philadelphia Eagles picked him in Round 3 of the 2021 NFL draft, the same year Buffalo took White in the first round. Because of that, it’s likely Buffalo had spoken to him prior to that year’s draft.
But it wasn’t a smooth start to his NFL career.
Douglas only started 18 of 48 appearances with the Eagles and was cut at the end of training camp in 2020. Douglas landed with the Panthers and made 11 starts and 14 appearances that season.
Due to injuries, the Packers needed somebody, and Douglas took an opportunity that eventually came his way.
Packers fans aren't happy
As the dust settled on the deal, Pack fans aren’t happy at all. They did not want Douglas to be traded:
The #Packers just traded Rasul Douglas to the Bills.
Don't know the compensation yet, but I do not like this.
Rasul has been playing too good and is too much of a leader to trade away right now. https://t.co/wg1LHY60wC
— Eli Berkovits (@BookOfEli_NFL) October 31, 2023
— Big B (@bigpackers4x) October 31, 2023
How he turned it around
Exactly how has Douglas turned around his career? Interceptions and at critical times.
Since 2021, Douglas has 10 interceptions and last season he led the NFL with fourth-quarter interceptions. For contest: Buffalo’s cornerback group has 12 total interceptions combined in that same time period.
And of of those first ones? It came against the Cardinals only three weeks after the Packers signed him off their practice squad.
A very cool redemption:
CANNOT BELIEVE RASUL DOUGLAS INTERCEPTED KYLER MURRAY IN THE END ZONE 🤯
— Action Network (@ActionNetworkHQ) October 29, 2021
Another versatile piece
With the Bills, Douglas is going to play corner. Beyond that? Who knows. Douglas has versatility. Green Bay discussed the possibility of him playing safety this offseason and he’s lined up in the slot.
Got involved in the Aaron Rodgers stuff
It’s unclear if it’s true or not, but at one point Douglas claimed to have taken Rodgers’ phone and he was posting on social media. To prove it was really him, he messaged out his own name:
I told y’all I have his phone 😂😂😂🤷🏾♂️🤷🏾♂️🤷🏾♂️ https://t.co/weyhlhRoR3
— rasul (@RasulEra) March 14, 2023
Speaking of teammates, they love him
Rodgers is one of the more higher-profile teammates Douglas has had in the past. So is now Raiders receiver Davante Adams. Both raved about him in Green Bay.
“I think oftentimes, the idea of being a role player is looked (upon) as, ‘You’re a secondary contributor.’ We have guys who play important roles for us,” Rodgers said via the Wisconsin State Journal. “I don’t think Rasul is a role player. He’s a star. He’s got incredible ball skills, he’s around the football all the time, and he’s changed our team. He really has.”
“I think it’s pretty safe to say he’s a superstar at the cornerback position,” Adams said.
“I’ve never seen anything like this in my time in the National Football League, where somebody that comes in midseason has had such a tremendous impact on your football team,” Packers coach Matt LaFleur said of Douglas, per the Wisconsin State Journal. “I love what he’s all about. I love how he competes. I love his approach on a daily basis. There might not be anybody on our team that watches more tape than him. He’s just constantly grinding, working at it, and I think it’s paying off for him.”
He's going to need that with the Bills...
Well, good thing his teammates like him because Douglas has a serious history with some of his new ones.
The Bills took on the Packers last season, and both quarterback Josh Allen and receiver Stefon Diggs did a lot of trash talking to Douglas.
First, Diggs beat him for a touchdown on one play… a Diggs had plenty to afterword, something which doesn’t happen without trash talking going on:
Josh Allen and Stefon Diggs target Rasul Douglas on the first play of the second quarter. The Bills now lead 14-0. pic.twitter.com/E1TQcGIgmy
— The Comeback (@thecomeback) October 31, 2022
Then Josh Allen got into it with him. Remember how Allen once tried to explain why he loves getting hit so much? That happened after his interview last season with NFL Network’s Kyle Brandt:
— Kyle Brandt’s Basement (@KBBasement) November 1, 2022
And then, of course, there’s this little one from Allen to Douglas…
Here’s a video of Josh Allen telling Rasul Douglas he f*cking sucks so that’ll be interesting. pic.twitter.com/7zElUXU53n
— Bills Backers Tampa (@billsmafiatampa) October 31, 2023
All will be fine. Probably.
Years left and down to restructure
Douglas was scooped up at the trade deadline, but he’s no “rental” until the end of 2023. Douglas is under contract next season, too.
According to Spotrac, his cap hit is set to be $9 million in 2024. But as this offseason showed, Douglas is down to do what’s best for the team. He restructured his deal with the Packers in March to create $3.3M in cap space.
And we all know Buffalo general manager Brandon Beane loves him some contract restructuring.
That is one bizarre penalty (but maybe smart?)
Douglas took one of the more bizarre looking penalties of the year last season in Green Bay against the Detroit Lions.
In a 20-16 loss to the Lions last January, Douglas was out on the field to block a kick at the end of the first half. It appeared before the snap, he just walked up and grabbed the ball from the long snapper.
But it was not as crazy as it looks
Douglas explained after the contest that he actually heard the whistle blow for a timeout and decided he did not want the Detroit kicker to take a practice swing at the ball as Green Bay called a timeout to ice him.
He explained that’s what he did on the play… but that’s not even what he was flagged for. It was the pushing a shoving after.
Eventually the Lions hit the kick, but Douglas explains it below:
Crazy people don’t get why I did this . He missed a kick earlier in the game and we called timeout on this play . I wasn’t about to let him get a free kick so I did this . Now me hitting him after he pushed me I take full accountability for . https://t.co/00sTBoEPB3
— rasul (@RasulEra) January 9, 2023
PFF says he's doing well this season, too
Not only has Douglas done well in recent seasons, he is in 2023.
Currently, Pro Football Focus grades him as the 18th best cornerback in the NFL with an overall mark of 75.2. Previously after Week 7, PFF called him the NFL’s best cornerback this year.
PFF’s analysis can be scattered sometimes, but regardless, those are solid stats.