Unlike Aaron Rodgers, Rasul Douglas Knows He Wants to Be With the Packers in 2022: ‘I Built a Family Here’

Article Highlights:

  • Green Bay Packers cornerback Rasul Douglas wants to return to the team in 2022
  • The West Virginia product snagged five interceptions after joining Green Bay in October
  • The Packers must do everything in their power to bring Douglas back for next season

Veteran quarterback Aaron Rodgers doesn’t know if he wants to play for the Green Bay Packers in 2022. Fourth-year cornerback Rasul Douglas can’t say the same.

Douglas, who almost instantly became a fan favorite after joining the active roster in October, is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent in March. If the Super Bowl 52 champion gets his way, though, he’ll spend next season — and multiple years after that — patrolling the secondary in a Packers uniform.

Rasul Douglas made it clear he wants to play for the Packers in 2022

Packers fans likely wouldn’t have known Rasul Douglas from former Atlanta Falcons receiver Harry Douglas or Doug Funnie from Nickelodeon when the team signed him off the Arizona Cardinals’ practice squad in October. Nonetheless, the West Virginia product didn’t need long to make an impression. 

After debuting in Week 6, Douglas immediately became a mainstay in the Packers’ secondary. He snagged five interceptions, returning two for touchdowns, and broke up 13 passes in 12 games and nine starts.

Douglas will play the entire 2022 season at 28 years old and has positioned himself for a solid payday this spring. Although the thought of a meaningful late-season home game in a warm climate might sound comfortable to most people, Sports Illustrated shared that the veteran cornerback isn’t thinking that way. Douglas made it clear he wants to stay in Green Bay if he gets the opportunity.

“I built a family here. I’ve still got some unfinished business, I feel like, to handle. Of course, I want to be here. But I don’t think that’s all my decision to make.”

Rasul Douglas

As of publication, Spotrac estimated Douglas will receive a four-year, $36.9 million contract in free agency. 

Green Bay would be foolish not to do everything in its power to bring Douglas back next year

Douglas is young enough that he could very well attract the big bucks in free agency. Whether or not the Packers will have the cap space or desire to hand them out to him is another conversation.

Nonetheless, the Packers cannot afford (pun only somewhat intended) to let Douglas leave. This cannot be a situation where the team doesn’t make a meaningful attempt at extending him because they think they have no chance at retaining him.

When he spoke with reporters, Douglas admitted he’d be willing to take a hometown discount if it meant staying in Green Bay, even joking his 2022 pay should “probably be a little bit more” than the minimum salary he earned this season.

If another team comes up with an offer Douglas cannot refuse, that’s the price of doing business in the NFL. But the Packers would be foolish not to do everything in their power to bring the veteran cornerback back for next season, even if the 2022 season does become a transitional year in Green Bay. 

The 2022-23 Packers could look look far different even if Douglas does return

As pressing as Douglas’ pending free agency is, the Packers’ most significant offseason priority is determining what Rodgers intends to do in 2022. It’s that simple. The three-time NFL MVP said after the NFC Divisional Round that he does not want to be part of a rebuild next year, a reality that could come to fruition given the Packers’ pending free agents.

All-Pro receiver Davante Adams could also become a free agent, and he’s been linked to the Las Vegas Raiders for nearly a year now. Adams, who is originally from California, played alongside Raiders quarterback Derek Carr in the early 2010s.

Packers receiver Marquez Valdes-Scantling and tight end Robert Tonyan are also slated to hit free agency. Valdes-Scantling, a fifth-round pick in 2018, hauled in 123 catches, 2,153 yards, and 13 touchdowns in 59 games with the Green and Yellow. Tonyan, who suffered a season-ending knee injury in October, caught 11 touchdowns in 2020. Linebacker De’Vondre Campbell, another former Cardinals defender, earned first-team All-Pro honors and could earn a massive contract ahead of his age-29 season.

If the Packers get the feeling they’ll need to rely on their defense in 2022, they’ll absolutely need Douglas’ presence in the secondary. Otherwise, head coach Matt LaFleur might have far more to worry about than losing at home in the playoffs for a third straight year.

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