When the Buffalo Bills moved on from general manager Doug Whaley following the 2016 season, it was not a surprise the team opted to hire Brandon Beane. Bills news at that point included the team having brought in Sean McDermott as their head coach, who had a relationship with Beane stemming from their days with the Carolina Panthers.
Fast forward over three years, and Beane has Buffalo as a legit Super Bowl contender. He tore down the previous iteration of this team and has since built it in his mold. Beane has now been rewarded.
Bills news: Team extends general manager Brandon Beane
“The Buffalo Bills announced a multi-year contract extension for Brandon Beane today. Beane is in his fourth season with Buffalo after being named the general manager on May 9, 2017,” the Bills announced via their official website.
To say this is well-earned would be an understatement. Beane took over a Bills front office that had led this team to just one winning season since 2004. Buffalo earned a playoff spot in his first season after the general manager cleaned house by trading the likes of Sammy Watkins, Ronald Darby, Reggie Ragland and Marcell Dareus. They ultimately went 9-7 in 2017.
However, it’s what Beane has done in the draft and free agency since that has these Bills in contention in the AFC and as the top dog in the AFC East.
Related: NFL Week 14 schedule, predictions
Bills news: 2018 NFL Draft set the tone
Beane received criticism for reaching for Wyoming product Josh Allen with the seventh pick in his initial draft as the Bills’ general manager. Allen was seen as a major project, someone who would likely have to sit on the bench for a couple years before being NFL-ready.
Boy, were the armchair experts wrong. Thus far this season, Allen has accounted for 32 total touchdowns compared to eight interceptions en route to leading Buffalo to a 9-3 record in 12 starts. As a whole, the 2018 NFL Draft proved to be a major turning point for Buffalo.
- First round: Josh Allen, quarterback
- First round: Tremaine Edmunds, linebacker
- Fourth round: Taron Johnson, cornerback
Getting three full-time starters and a franchise quarterback is nothing to sneeze at. However, Beane’s 2019 NFL Draft also proved to be a coup for the Bills.
- First round: Ed Oliver, defensive line
- Second round: Cody Ford, offensive tackle
- Third round: Devin Singletary, running back
- Third round: Dawson Knox, tight end
That’s a total of seven starters for a legit Super Bowl contender in two drafts. Not too shabby.
Bills news: Success in free agency
New general managers tend to either build through the draft or hit it big in free agency. For Brandon Beane and the Bills, it’s been a combination of the two. More often than not, he’s hit on free agents since joining the Bills.
- Cole Beasley, wide receiver: Thus far this season, Beasley is enjoying a career-best performance. He’s caught 66 passes for 797 yards in 12 games. Not too bad for someone playing under a four-year, $29 million contract.
- Mitch Morse, center: Beane realizes how important this position is. That’s why Bills news that he signed Morse to a four-year, $44.5 million contract ahead of the 2019 season was not a surprise. Since, Morse has started all 26 games in which he’s appeared and continues to play at a Pro Bowl level.
With all of that said, Brandon Beane’s decision to pull off a blockbuster trade for former Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Stefon Diggs might have been his biggest move outside of drafting Josh Allen. Heading into Week 14, Diggs leads the NFL with 90 receptions. He’s also caught a whopping 75% of the passes thrown in his direction.
Brandon Beane is one of the top general managers in the NFL. He’s proved that at nearly ever turn in three-plus seasons in that role with Buffalo. He’s now being rewarded for it.
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