Buffalo Bills add ball-hawking cornerback at NFL Trade Deadline

Green Bay Packers v Arizona Cardinals
Green Bay Packers v Arizona Cardinals / Christian Petersen/GettyImages

Usually, you regard October 31, as an important day of the year, because it’s Halloween. That was not the only reason this year, as it was the NFL’s trade deadline day. There were many trades today before the 4:00 p.m. e.t. deadline hit. The Buffalo Bills were one of those teams, adding cornerback Rasul Douglas to their defense, from the Green Bay Packers.

It comes as no surprise that the Buffalo Bills added help to their defense, as they have been decimated by injury this year. They lost their All-Pro cornerback Tre’Davious White for the year, All-Pro linebacker Matt Milano is out, if not for the year, a long time, and DaQuan Jones, who was statistically the best defensive tackle this year before tearing his pectoral.

Since losing White, the Bills have had issues with their pass defense and have had to test their depth at cornerback. Ian Rapport reported that no one made more calls around the league looking for cornerbacks than, General Manager Brandon Beane. Jordan Schultz also reported that Buffalo made a very aggressive push for the Bears’ rising star, Jaylon Johnson, but the price was too steep.

Douglas is no superstar cornerback, but you can look at it along the lines of him being a high-end cornerback two, and a low-end number one cornerback. He makes plays and is an instant upgrade to the Bills pass defense. They paid a steep price of a 2024 third-round pick while getting Douglas and a fifth-rounder in return.

However, the Bills are expecting to receive a third-round compensatory pick for the loss of Tremaine Edmunds. So, if you really are having an issue with the price, you can think of it as the Bills basically moving back a few spots in the third round, to get Douglas and an additional fifth.

Why Rasul Douglas will fit right in and be a playmaker for the Buffalo Bills

Douglas will fit right into the Buffalo Bills' defense, which loves to run zone coverage schemes. At 6’2”, Douglas gives the Bills size and range, and he is at his best in zone coverage. The Packers, where Douglas is coming from, are zone-heavy themselves, having run it on 77% of their defensive snaps this year. Douglas is a shoo-in for SeanMcDermott’s scheme.

Douglas has a knack for being around the ball and has earned the title of being a ballhawk. Over the past three seasons, he has 10 interceptions, which is tied for the third most in the NFL over that time. Bills’ reporter Sal Capaccio, pointed out that all Bills cornerbacks combined have totaled 12 interceptions in that same time frame. Douglas is also one of only seven players this year to record an interception, fumble recovery, and six-plus passes defended.

In his now six-and-a-half-year career, Douglas has totaled 354 tackles, 17 tackles for loss, 15 interceptions, two pick-sixes, and 66 passes defended (12th most in that time frame). His six passes defended this season led the Packers. The 28-year-old cornerback is also a closer. His six interceptions in the fourth quarter or overtime since 2021 is the most among all cornerbacks.

The Bills will only have a cap hit of $838k for Douglas this year. Additionally, he is under contract for next season as well but will carry a $9 million cap hit, which the Bills could re-work or lessen with an extension. However, that is not guaranteed so they could move on if they chose to as well, but that would be unlikely, based on the team dealing a third-rounder for him.