Proposed Trade Ships Lions Projected $43 Million CB to ‘Open Super Bowl Window’

Dan Campbell Rasul Douglas

Getty Bleacher Report's Maurice Moton proposed the Detroit Lions acquiring cornerback Rasul Douglas for a third-round pick.

The Detroit Lions have been linked to several different cornerbacks through free agency and the NFL draft. But another way the Lions could upgrade cornerback is through a trade. On February 26, Bleacher Report’s Maurice Moton suggested the Lions acquire cornerback Rasul Douglas from the Buffalo Bills.

Moton’s proposed trade also sent the No. 206 overall pick in the sixth round with Douglas to Detroit in exchange for the No. 92 selection. The No. 92 pick is the second of two third-round choices the Lions own in the 2024 draft.

“The Detroit Lions may want to take a swing at a ready-made starter following their run to the NFC Championship Game,” Moton wrote. “If the Lions intend to open their Super Bowl window, they must strengthen their pass defense, which ranked 27th last season.

“Douglas would make an immediate impact on the back end of Detroit’s defense as the best playmaker among its cornerbacks. The Lions can afford to give up one of their two third-round picks to patch up a glaring weakness.”

Ironically, the Bills acquired Douglas through a trade on October 31 last year. Buffalo received Douglas and a 2024 fifth-round pick from the Green Bay Packers for a 2024 third-round selection.

With the Bills and Packers, Douglas posted 14 pass defenses and 5 interceptions during 2023. He also had 61 combined tackles, including 3 tackles for loss and 3 fumble recoveries in 16 games.

Douglas has one year remaining on his contract. But Spotrac projected that when he reaches free agency, Douglas will be worth $43.3 million on a new 3-year contract.

Why the Lions Should Consider Acquiring CB Rasul Douglas

Pundits have connected the Lions with several veteran cornerback options, including ones that could be acquired through a trade. Adding Douglas wouldn’t be the biggest splash, but the Lions could acquire him without having to give up one of their top three picks.

Therefore, Detroit could add Douglas while keeping the draft capital needed to shore up edge rusher and offensive guard.

Campbell and his coaching staff should be very familiar with Douglas. He played for the Packers from 2021 until midway through the 2023 season.

In 36 games with Green Bay, he posted 32 pass defenses and 10 interceptions. In four contests against the Lions, Douglas had 15 combined tackles, including 1 tackle for loss.

Douglas began his career as a third-round pick for the Philadelphia Eagles in 2017. He started five games as a rookie and appeared in all three of the team’s playoff matchups on their way to a Super Bowl title.

Over three seasons with the Eagles, Douglas registered 25 pass defenses and 5 interceptions. He then played the 2020 season with the Carolina Panthers, where he returned 2 of his 5 interceptions for touchdowns.

He spent training camp and the early part of the 2021 season with the Las Vegas Raiders, Houston Texans and Arizona Cardinals before signing with the Packers on October 6, 2021.

In 105 career games, Douglas has posted 74 pass defenses and 19 interceptions with 383 combined tackles.

Do the Lions Prefer a Veteran or Rookie CB?

One of the biggest questions the Lions have to answer this offseason is whether they’d prefer to use free agency or the draft to find the team’s next starting cornerback opposite Cameron Sutton.

There are advantages to both methods.

A veteran is more likely to supply an immediate upgrade, which the Lions could use as Super Bowl contenders in 2024. But a rookie has a higher probability of being a long-term solution and is a cheaper option.

The Lions, though, will very likely need to add more than one cornerback this offseason. Cornerbacks Kindle Vildor, Jerry Jacobs and Emmanuel Moseley will all become unrestricted free agents in March.

Needing to add multiple cornerbacks, trading for Douglas could give the Lions the best of both worlds.

He is an immediate upgrade at the team’s biggest need. He also would give the Lions draft flexibility in the first round.

But Douglas also wouldn’t prevent general manager Brad Holmes from targeting another cornerback in the first round if there’s a prospect the team loves at No. 29.

The Bills could be interested in trading Douglas as a salary dump. Douglas is set to have a $9 million cap hit in 2024.

Spotrac reported that the Bills are $41 million over the salary cap. The Lions possess one of the better cap situations, with more than $65 million in space, around the league.

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