The Buffalo Bills raised eyebrows when they fired general manager Doug Whaley just one day after the 2017 NFL draft. Less than two weeks later, they have settled on his replacement. On Tuesday, the Bills hired Brandon Beane as their new general manager, the team announced.
The hire reunites Beane with new Bills coach Sean McDermott. Beane spent the past two years as the assistant general manager for the Carolina Panthers, while McDermott was the Panthers’ defensive coordinator from 2011-16.
Beane is just 40 years old, but his front office experience includes everything from player contracts to scouting to roster management. He started working for the Panthers in 1998 in the communications department and worked his way up to director of football operations, a position he held for seven years. Beane even had a stint as the Panthers’ interim general manager in the second half of the 2012 season.
“During our search for a new General Manager, Brandon stood out to Kim and I as he embodies the type of leader and type of person we want in our organization,” Bills owner Terry Pegula in a team statement. “Brandon has excelled in a variety of roles for a Panthers team that has consistently competed at a high level in this league.”
Beane and McDermott aren’t the only former Panthers the Bills brought in this offseason. Buffalo signed fullback Mike Tolbert, receiver Philly Brown, and cornerback Leonard Johnson in free agency.
The Bills know what they’re doing:
Hey @Panthers, sorry we keep stealing your staff. Just know it's out of respect. ✊️— Buffalo Bills (@buffalobills) May 9, 2017
The Bills hauled in a well-regarded draft class this year, led by cornerback Tre'Davious White and wide receiver Zay Jones. But it was unclear if Whaley or McDermott was responsible for those selections.
After a dysfunctional past couple of years under former coach Rex Ryan, the Bills are trying to move in a new direction. With a familiar face at general manager, McDermott now has a semblance of continuity in the front office and on the field in his first year as the head coach in Buffalo.