Rasul Douglas

Packers HC Matt LaFleur On DC Joe Barry, Secondary Plans

When Packers head coach Matt LaFleur endorsed defensive coordinator Joe Barry in January, it was clear that he would allow Barry to lead Green Bay’s defense for a third season in 2023, despite the opportunity to pursue candidates like Vic Fangio, Ejiro Evero, and Steve Wilks.

In his first public comments since making that decision, LaFleur explained that in addition to continuity and staff chemistry — which he had previously cited as reasons for retaining Barry — the defense’s improved performance down the stretch of the 2022 season also played a key role.

“Our defense was getting better, it was progressing,” LaFleur said at last month’s owners meetings (via Pete Dougherty of the Green Bay Press-Gazette). “I thought Joe was doing a good job of communicating with our players. I thought our staff was doing a great job together, putting our guys in a better situation, having just more clarity on what it is we wanted to be and our play style, and I thought it got better. I felt like that was in the best interest of us to bring all those (coaches) back.”

The Packers finished the 2022 campaign ranked 17th in both points (21.8) and yards (337) allowed per game, and for a defense that was expected to be among the league’s best, that qualified as a major disappointment. During Green Bay’s five-game losing streak in October and early November, it was reported that players were becoming frustrated with Barry’s scheme and play-calling, and LaFleur acknowledged that adjustments were not made as quickly as they should have been.

Still, after Barry simplified his play-calling, and after other tactical changes — like playing more press coverage and benching underperforming safety Darnell Savage — were made, the defense got better, and the Packers nearly snuck into the postseason. With Jordan Love set to become the club’s starting quarterback, it will be imperative for Barry & Co. to carry their momentum into 2023, and if that does not happen, then Barry could be out of a job and LaFleur will be subjected to plenty of second-guessing.

Another productive adjustment that was made in the second half of the 2022 season was moving Rasul Douglas from nickel corner to the boundaries (although that move was only made due to Eric Stokes‘ season-ending knee and ankle injuries). Per LaFleur, the team will utilize a rotation of Jaire Alexander, Stokes, and Douglas outside the numbers, and Keisean Nixon will get a chance to claim the slot corner position. Nixon has never been a full-time defensive player — his 28% defensive snap share last year was a career-high — but the coaching staff is clearly high on his ability and prefers to have one player predominantly occupying the nickel role.

Nixon did earn a First Team All-Pro nod for his work as a return man in 2022, and he was retained for the 2023 season on a one-year pact that can max out at $6MM. LaFleur said that the team will create an offensive package for Nixon in an effort to get the ball in his hands more often (Twitter link via ESPN’s Rob Demovsky).

The team’s plan for Nixon means that Savage is not, as had been suggested previously, presently under consideration to man the slot. Instead, Savage will get the chance to reclaim his job as a starting safety and to work alongside free agent acquisition Tarvarius Moore on the back end of the defense. Savage is entering a platform year, so his 2023 performance will have a major impact on his financial future.

Packers Sign S Tarvarius Moore

A 2021 season-nullifying injury postponed Tarvarius Moore‘s free agency by a year. After the safety’s contract tolled, however, the Packers will still add him to the mix.

The 49ers used Moore as both a cornerback and a safety, though he spent more time at the latter post. He competed with Talanoa Hufanga to start opposite Jimmie Ward last year. Hufanga going on to earn first-team All-Pro honors signaled San Francisco’s long-term plans at that position. But Ward and Moore have now relocated, with the 10th-year veteran joining DeMeco Ryans‘ Texans staff.

Moore will land with another ex-Kyle Shanahan coworker, joining Matt LaFleur‘s team. The Packers experienced some issues at safety last season, and Adrian Amos is now a free agent. The team is considering shifting Darnell Savage to the slot on a full-time basis, and Rob Demovsky of ESPN.com notes Rasul Douglas is a candidate to move from cornerback to safety. With the safety spot unsettled and Rudy Ford (six 2022 starts) also a free agent, the Packers may have an opening for Moore.

The former third-round pick — in part because of a 4.32-second 40-yard dash at Southern Miss’ 2018 pro day — began his 49ers career at cornerback moved back to safety in 2019. He started eight games in 2020, making 52 tackles and forcing a fumble. A torn Achilles in June 2021 kept Moore on the 49ers’ PUP list throughout the season, and since he was in the final year of his contract, his rookie deal tolled. Moore would have been unlikely to do well on the market last year anyway, considering his 2021 injury, and he played 13 games this past season.

Moore, 26, does not have a regular-season interception, but he picked off Patrick Mahomes in Super Bowl LIV. Even if Moore does not mount a serious charge to start in Green Bay, the Packers have added an experienced special-teamer. Moore saw action on 66% of the 49ers’ special teams plays last season and cleared the 50% barrier on ST snaps in each of his other three active seasons.

Latest On Packers’ Secondary

The strength of the Packers’ re-tooled defense figures to be its secondary. While depth could be a question mark, the starting unit features a number of former first-rounders and effective veterans. Which five players are in line to see the field full-time isn’t a concern heading into training camp, but how they are aligned could be. 

As detailed by The Athletic’s Matt Schneidman (subscription required), Green Bay is set to use Jaire Alexander, Eric Stokes and Rasul Douglas as their top three corners. The latter enjoyed a late-blossoming breakout campaign last season, recording a career-high five interceptions. That performance earned him a three-year, $21MM contract in free agency.

The group will still be led, of course, by Alexander; the Pro Bowler became the league’s all-time highest-paid corner (in terms of AAV) when he signed an $84MM extension which will keep him in place through 2026. He and Stokes in particular figure to serve as a foundation on the backend for the foreseeable future, along with, in all likelihood, safety Darnell Savage Jr. 

An important question Schneidman raises is the matter of who mans the slot when each of the top five defenders (the aforementioned four players, along with safety Adrian Amos) are healthy. DBs coach Jerry Gray indicated that any of the starting corners or Savage could find themselves in the role. “There’s a lot of action at the nickel,” he said. “[A]nd everybody wants to be in the action.”

As Schneidman notes, different players would be better suited to shift inside at different points, depending on individual circumstances. Ultimately, though, the health of the secondary’s top five members will be the most important factor in the defense’s success, given the distinct lack of known commodities lower on the depth chart. How the unit shakes out at camp will be worth watching in the lead-up to what the Packers hope will be another Super Bowl run.

Contract Details: Armstead, MVS, Douglas, Peterson, Peppers, Butler, Barnett, Harris

Here are the latest details from contracts recently agreed to around the NFL:

  • Terron Armstead, T (Dolphins): Five years, $75MM. In addition to a $12MM signing bonus, Armstead’s $43.37MM guarantee includes his 2022 and ’23 base salaries ($1.1MM, $9MM), Aaron Wilson of ProFootballNetwork.com tweets. Armstead’s $13.25MM 2024 base salary is guaranteed for injury at signing. The deal includes $2.5MM-per-year incentives for playing time and Pro Bowl accolades, Wilson adds (on Twitter).
  • Marquez Valdes-Scantling, WR (Chiefs): Three years, $30MM. Valdes-Scantling’s $18MM guaranteed includes a $6MM signing bonus and a fully guaranteed 2022 base salary ($2.56MM), Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk notes. The Chiefs have some flexibility in 2023. MVS has $6.4MM of his $8.6MM 2023 salary guaranteed for injury at signing; that shifts to a full guarantee if the wideout is on Kansas City’s roster on Day 3 of the 2023 league year. Valdes-Scantling’s $11.6MM 2024 base is nonguaranteed.
  • Rasul Douglas, CB (Packers): Three years, $21MM. The Packers gave Douglas a $5.3MM signing bonus and have him tied to base salaries of $1.1MM, $2.25MM and $6.25MM, Wilson tweets. Douglas will collect a $2MM roster bonus if he is on Green Bay’s roster on Day 3 of the 2023 league year.
  • Derek Barnett, DE (Eagles): Two years, $13.2MM. Barnett will see $7MM fully guaranteed, which includes $5.5MM in Year 1 and $1.5MM in Year 2, Jeff McLane of the Philadelphia Inquirer notes (Twitter links). The Eagles guaranteed $1.5MM of Barnett’s 2023 salary and will guarantee $2MM more of that $7.5MM figure if he is on their roster on Day 3 of the 2023 league year. There are $9MM in incentives available, Wilson tweets.
  • Malcolm Butler, CB (Patriots): Two years, $9MM. The Patriots only guaranteed the recently unretired cornerback $750K, Ben Volin of the Boston Globe tweets. That comes via a $500K signing bonus and a $250K guarantee of Butler’s 2022 base salary. Butler’s cap numbers check in at $2.22MM and $2.75MM.
  • Patrick Peterson, CB (Vikings): One year, $4MM. In addition to the $3.5MM guaranteed Peterson will collect, Wilson notes the Vikings included $1MM in playing-time and playoff incentives (Twitter link). The team tacked a void year onto the deal.
  • Anthony Harris, S (Eagles): One year, $2.5MM. The Eagles are guaranteeing $1MM of Harris’ $2MM base salary, Wilson tweets.
  • Jabrill Peppers, S (Patriots): One year, $2MM. The Patriots are giving Peppers a $300K signing bonus and guaranteeing his $1.1MM base salary, Tom Pelissero of NFL.com tweets. The deal includes $3MM in playing-time incentives.

Packers To Re-Sign Rasul Douglas

SATURDAY: Green Bay is giving Douglas a three-year deal, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com reports (on Twitter). The former journeyman cornerback agreed to terms on a $21MM deal, with Rapoport adding it can max out at $25.5MM (Twitter link).

THURSDAY: This will not exactly compete with the previous Packers development for news value, but the team is closing in on bringing back one of its priority free agents. Rasul Douglas is expected to re-sign with the Packers, Josina Anderson of USA Today tweets.

Douglas’ second contract with the Packers is expected to go through after Davante Adams‘ $20MM franchise tag number comes off the books, per Anderson. The Packers are trading Adams to the Raiders for first- and second-round picks.

Douglas will join De’Vondre Campbell as 2021 defensive standouts re-signing with Green Bay. Despite the Packers rostering Jaire Alexander and 2021 first-round pick Eric Stokes, they were working on a Douglas extension earlier this week. Douglas hit free agency but has not been connected to other teams. The veteran revitalized his career in Green Bay, helping the NFC North champions after a late arrival.

The 27-year-old cornerback intercepted a career-high five passes, despite playing in just 12 regular-season games, and returned two for touchdowns. The former Eagles, Panthers, Raiders, Texans and Cardinals defender enjoyed a career year in coverage as well, limiting quarterbacks to a 44.5 passer rating — down from 108.5 with the Panthers in 2020 — and a 50% completion rate. Douglas helped the Packers considerably while Alexander missed time. The two are on course to play together next season.

Packers, Rasul Douglas Eyeing Extension

The Packers have taken care of most of their offseason business already, making enough salary cap room to keep the likes of Aaron Rodgers, Davante Adams and Preston Smith. One of the last key pieces to their 2021 roster left unsigned is cornerback Rasul Douglas

According to ESPN Dianna Russini, both sides are hopeful a new deal can get done to keep him in Green Bay (Twitter link). She reports that “ongoing conversations continue on a potential extension”, though she adds that Douglas has received “multiple offers” from other teams in recent days.

The 27-year-old joined the Packers – his third NFL team – midseason. Brought in as a replacement for the injured Jaire Alexander, he exceeded any reasonable expectations the team had for him. In 12 games, he totalled 57 tackles and a team-leading five interceptions (two of which were returned for touchdowns). He also had the best season of his career in coverage, allowing a 44.5 opposing passer rating.

That led general manager Brian Gutekunst to publicly announce his desire to keep him, along with fellow unheralded defender De’Vondre Campbell. Douglas had earlier expressed his openness to returning. A new deal certainly wouldn’t come as a surprise, then, although the Packers have a tight budget and potential outside suitors to compete with.

Packers Want To Keep De’Vondre Campbell, Rasul Douglas

Two names are at the center of the Packers’ offseason: Aaron Rodgers and Davante Adams. While it’s certainly understandable why that’s the case, there are several other big decisions the team needs to make regardless of what happens with that pair. Two such examples are pending free agents De’Vondre Campbell and Rasul Douglas

When speaking with the media, general manager Brian Gutekunst made it clear he wants both players back in Green Bay. Campbell signed with the Packers last June, reuniting him with head coach Matt Lafleur, dating back to their time together in Atlanta. The 28-year-old was brought in to provide a veteran presence in the absence of Chrsitian Kirksey, paving the way for a career year.

Campbell made 146 tackles, to go along with two sacks, two forced fumbles and two interceptions in 16 games this year. Those numbers earned him First-Team All-Pro honors for the first time in his six-year career. “The season he had, I’m so impressed with the person and the player, and he just made a world of difference for the defense”, Gutekunst said. He added that the team is “very optimistic and hopeful to get him back into the fold”.

As for Douglas, he may have found a home after five NFL stops in the past three years. Despite not joining the team until October (as a fill-in for the injured Jaire Alexander), he led the Packers in interceptions with five, two of which were returned for touchdowns. The 27-year-old also registered 57 total tackles, and put up career-best numbers in pass coverage, allowing only a 44.5 opposing passer rating.

Douglas has let it be known he is open to a new deal in Green Bay, something which the team is also amenable to. Gutekunst said, “to predict what he was able to do for us, I’d be lying to you if I thought he was going to come here… and impact our team the way he did”.

Both players have certainly earned raises over the figures they played on in 2021, which complicates Green Bay’s situation. Despite recent restructures with Kenny Clark and Aaron Jones, they are still well over the cap, and seemingly no closer to permanent deals with either Rodgers or Adams. If they are able to keep Campbell and Douglas, though, their defense would be well positioned to repeat its top-ten performance from 2021.


CB Rasul Douglas Open To Packers Return

Cornerback Rasul Douglas was a revelation for the Packers in 2021. The West Virginia product was selected by the Eagles in the third round of the 2017 draft, but Philadelphia deemed him expendable at final cutdown time before the start of the 2020 season and placed him on waivers. He was claimed by the Panthers shortly thereafter and went on to start 11 games for Carolina in 2020.

However, he finished as a middle-of-the-road performer that year per Pro Football Focus’ advanced metrics, and he signed a one-year pact with the Raiders last April, only to be cut in August. Sensing that he might have a good opportunity with the rebuilding Texans, he signed with Houston one day after being released by Las Vegas, but he was cut again less than a week into his Texans tenure. He subsequently hooked on with the Cardinals’ taxi squad and was poached by the Packers in early October.

Douglas, 27, enjoyed a career year in Green Bay. In just 12 regular season games (nine starts), he picked off five passes, returning two for touchdowns. He had always shown solid ball skills, having averaged 8.5 passes defensed per year over his first four seasons in the league, but his ability to convert those PDs into picks in 2021 was a major asset to the Packers’ defense.

It stands to reason, then, that the club would want to bring Douglas back, and for his part, Douglas is certainly amenable to a return. When asked what it would take for him to re-sign with the Packers, Douglas said all the team would need to do is ask. On a follow-up question as to how much more money Green Bay would have to pay him above the prorated $990K veteran minimum he earned from the team in 2021, he replied “probably a little more. Nothing crazy” (Twitter link via Matt Schneidman of The Athletic).

Of course, even a modest raise will be difficult for the Packers to accommodate. The club is currently projected to be more than $45MM over the cap, and that’s before a presumptive franchise tag for WR Davante Adams. Green Bay has only three CBs under contract for 2022, and while two of those players — Eric Stokes and Jaire Alexander — are high-quality starters, retaining Douglas on something of a team-friendly deal would be especially helpful to a defense that could lose some pass rushing prowess (Za’Darius Smith and Preston Smith) in the front seven.

Douglas’ market will be interesting to monitor. In addition to his counting stats, he allowed just a 45.3% completion rate in 2021, and opposing passers had a meager 49.6 QB rating when throwing in his direction, the third-best mark in the league. So there is plenty of reason to believe that his breakthrough 2021 campaign is sustainable, and assuming rival clubs feel that way, Douglas could be priced out of Green Bay’s range.

Minor NFL Transactions: 10/6/21

We’ll keep track of today’s minor moves here:

Arizona Cardinals

Cincinnati Bengals

Cleveland Browns

Detroit Lions

Green Bay Packers

Houston Texans

Miami Dolphins

New England Patriots

New Orleans Saints

New York Jets 

Wednesday NFL Transactions: NFC West

Following the 53-man roster cutdown deadline Tuesday, many teams will make slight tweaks to their rosters. In addition to waiver claims, teams can begin constructing their 16-man practice squads today. These CardinalsRamsSeahawks and 49ers moves are noted below.

Here are Wednesday’s NFC West transactions, which will continue to be updated throughout the day.

Arizona Cardinals

Signed to practice squad:

Los Angeles Rams

Signed to practice squad:

San Francisco 49ers


Placed on IR: 

Signed to practice squad:

Seattle Seahawks




Signed to practice squad: