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The Packers’ trade of Rasul Douglas reflects Brian Gutekunst’s job security

Green Bay’s GM remains looking at the future, despite the team’s recent losing streak.

Green Bay Packers Offseason Workout Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images

The 2023 season is a rebuilding year for the Green Bay Packers. The trade of cornerback Rasul Douglas, maybe the heart of the defense, to the Buffalo Bills is just another example of that.

While we at Acme Packing Company have mentioned that the offense needs to see some sort of progress in the second half of the season for head coach Matt LaFleur to keep his job moving forward, one person doesn’t seem to be feeling the pressure: general manager Brian Gutekunst.

Despite a stretch of games where the team has lost five of its last six games, Gutekunst continues to keep his eyes on the future, rather than making short-term moves for the sake of job security. Earlier this week, Fox’s Jay Glazer reported that the team was looking at the running back market, which led many to believe that the Packers were going to be “buyers” rather than “sellers” at the trade deadline. That never materialized.

Instead, Gutekunst gave up a veteran contract to move up two rounds in the 2024 draft — flipping Douglas and a fifth-round pick for the Bills’ third-round pick. While the seat is beginning to warm up under LaFleur, it seems that Gutekunst has been given some assurances that he’ll stick around to make that selection next April — as it’s tough to imagine that he’d push Douglas out of the locker room in any other scenario.

Green Bay is spending a league-low cash figure on the offensive side of the ball this year, and that’s before ever accounting for the fact that left tackle David Bakhtiari isn’t suiting up for games. It appears that Mark Murphy is giving a mulligan season to the front office for playing with a hand tied behind their back, after all of the seasons that the team pushed cap hits forward to keep a star group of players around quarterback Aaron Rodgers during his back-to-back MVP seasons. The question now is just how much the offense needs to develop for LaFleur to be awarded the same benefit.