This was never going to go down well. Rasul Douglas was a Green Bay Packers fan favorite. He gave everything to the team, cared about winning, and had made an excellent start to the season.
But his time in Green Bay is over. The Packers are trading Douglas and a fifth-round pick to the Buffalo Bills for a third-round choice.
The NFL is a tough business. The job of general manager Brian Gutekunst is to take the emotion out of it and do what he thinks is best for the team's long-term vision. If Douglas isn't part of the Packers' future plans, trading him for a pick in the top three rounds makes sense.
But it's a risk. Douglas is playing some of the best football of his career this year and could have been a leader in this team's rebuild moving forward. Instead, Douglas moves to a contender, and the Packers are left to pick up the pieces without one of their best cornerbacks.
Unsurprisingly, the reaction of fans and players has been overwhelmingly negative.
Packers trade Rasul Douglas to Bills: Fans and players react
Packers cornerback Keisean Nixon made his feelings known. Nixon and Douglas are good friends and started together at cornerback this season.
Along with Nixon, the reaction from Packers fans is almost entirely negative, which isn't surprising.
Green Bay's actions speak louder than words. This shows the team knows it's in a rebuild. The Packers move forward with rookie Carrington Valentine taking on a greater role in this defense.
Things will get worse for this team before they get better. The positive is that the Packers will now enter the 2024 NFL Draft with a (likely) early first-rounder, two second-rounders, and two third-rounders. That's plenty of draft capital to rebuild the roster or make trades.
Still, that doesn't help this team now. Cornerback was a strength entering the season. But with Jaire Alexander playing through injury and struggling for form, Eric Stokes on injured reserve, and Douglas gone, it may quickly jump up the list of offseason needs.