Bills’ $21 Million Starter Skipping All of OTAs Raises Eyebrows

Rasul Douglas

Getty Bills cornerback Rasul Douglas at Hard Rock Stadium on January 07, 2024.

Organized team activities are voluntary. However, only one Buffalo Bills player skipped the entire offseason workout program, cornerback Rasul Douglas.

The Bills landed Douglas in a trade with the Green Bay Packers after losing Tre’Davious White (Achilles) mid-season. Douglas, who signed a three-year $21 million deal with the Packers, is entering the final season of his contract.

Amid his absence, speculation circulated that he may be holding out for an extension. However, The Athletic’s Tim Graham shut down those rumors.

“Douglas, a gargantuan trade-deadline acquisition who helped the defense traverse a slew of defensive injuries down the homestretch, was the lone Bill to skip all offseason workouts,” Graham wrote. “That has led many to wonder if he’s upset about something or seeking a new contract.

“A source who has been briefed about Douglas’ absence told The Athletic that it’s not connected to any contract concerns. The Bills are tight against the salary cap, but Douglas appears in line for a nice raise based on his game-breaking production.

“That’s quite a turnaround for someone who from September 2020 to September 2021 was released by four teams and signed to the practice squad of a fifth before finding a home in Green Bay.”

Douglas is expected to be at the practice facility when mandatory minicamp kicks off on June 11.

Rasul Douglas’ Contract Gives Buffalo an Easy Out in 2025

Despite being a clutch addition last season, the Bills are not fully committed to the 29-year-old beyond 2024. Buffalo restructured Douglas’ deal before free agency started, which cleared approximately $2.6 million in cap space.

Buffalo Rumblings’ Matt Warren assessed the three void years added to his contract in March. “They could have chosen to move more money to lower his cap hit even more — about $3 million more, actually — but did not end up doing that,” Warren wrote.

“If they had done the bigger cap movement, it would have indicated that they strongly wanted to re-sign Douglas, as the team would have been more leveraged in future years. As it stands now, Buffalo has a $2.625 million dead cap charge for Douglas next year and they can certainly absorb that if an extension doesn’t get worked out.”

However, the Philadelphia Eagles‘ 2017 third-rounder immediately thrived in Buffalo. In nine games and eight starts, he registered 29 tackles, 8 passes defensed, 4 interceptions, and 1.0 sack.

After injuring his knee during the Bills’ regular season finale, he missed Buffalo’s Wild Card playoff win over the Pittsburgh Steelers. During Buffalo’s playoff loss to the Kansas City Chiefs, Douglas recorded two total tackles and 1 forced fumble.

Bills CB Rasul Douglas Is Staying In Shape With His Own Workouts

With White and Dane Jackson gone, Douglas is the clear starter at cornerback opposite Christian Benford. While the West Virginia alum did not participate in OTAs, he’s not slacking off.

In late May, Personal trainer Jon Chaimberg posted a video of Douglas working out at the Adrenaline Performance Center in Quebec, Montreal. Douglas also trained in Houston with Jacory “1-Way” Nichols, who shared videos of their workouts on Instagram. Bills head coach Sean McDermott didn’t appear to have any issues with Douglas’ absence.

“I’ve been very impressed with the attendance we’ve had,” McDermott told reporters on May 21. “We’ve had great attendance throughout the whole offseason with a couple of guys missing here and there, so the attendance has been great.”

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