From the outside of an NFL team looking in, it’s possible to evaluate the logic of a trade while acknowledging that it makes the team worse in the long run. On the inside, however, trading a veteran leader can be painful in the short term from both talent and team morale perspectives.
That seems to be the case with the Green Bay Packers’ trade of cornerback Rasul Douglas. It was a trade that shocked his former teammates, but it’s also one that came out of nowhere for the person who was responsible for executing it.
GM Brian Gutekunst spoke to the media on Wednesday following Tuesday’s trade deadline and addressed Douglas’ departure (among other things), noting that he had not gone into the deadline expecting to sell players off the current roster. Likewise, several players were available in the locker room after Wednesday’s practice to weigh in on their opinion of the move.
Balancing the short and long term concerns is probably the toughest part of a GM’s job. In this case, he felt that the long-term benefits would outweigh any short-team pain that the current team — which appears to be well away from championship contention — will feel.
Gutekunst: Need more time to evaluate QB Jordan Love - ESPN
The Packers' GM still doesn't know what he has in Love, which feels right. Unfortunately, he may have another big decision to make this offseason about his QB, and he acknowledged that the next ten games are "very important."
Packers GM on trading Rasul Douglas: ‘Offer was too good to pass up’ | Packers Wire
Gutekunst also said that he was not actively looking to trade Douglas (or anyone else) at the deadline, but that the Bills' offer of a top-100 pick was something he couldn't justify refusing.
Packers’ locker room jolted by Rasul Douglas trade: ‘I’m still sick to my stomach’ - The Athletic ($)
The trade is still reverberating around the locker room as the team's Wednesday practice was its first since Douglas' departure. Keisean Nixon in particular is struggling with his friend leaving.
Starting With Aaron Donald, Packers Set to Face Gauntlet of Pass Rushers - Sports Illustrated
The Packers will have to deal with Aaron Donald, T.J. Watt, Joey Bosa, and Khalil Mack all over the next three weeks.
Packers rookie Carrington Valentine ready for next challenge | Packers.com
As always, however, it's next man up, and that next man is a 7th-round rookie who has some promising but inconsistent snaps under his belt.
At least someone is having a good time with Douglas’ arrival in Buffalo, as this was his status on the team’s Wednesday injury report: