Brandon Beane Generally Managing Progress for Buffalo Bills

Photo of GM Brandon Beane from

Brandon Beane is still employed by the Buffalo Bills in case he has been too quiet to notice. He lets his transactions speak for him.  It’s nice to have an executive who’s not seeking headlines.  That’s different from one you’d prefer to forget.  My favorite general manager for now has been wise in adding and bold in removing.  We can only hope he keeps improving with experience.

Redecorating is a hassle that’s worth it if you’re facing tastelessness.  Money can’t buy design sense.  Beane doesn’t care how much the last tenant overpaid for tacky furniture: he’d rather eat off a TV tray until he can afford the tasteful dining room set of his choice.

Beane isn’t attached to whoever was hired by the last guy.  And why should he be?  His entire job is replacing anyone he deems superfluous, which is bound to include workers brought in by an underwhelming manager.  It sounds fun, which is why the position is so desirable.

Like diplomat’s son John Mellor becoming Joe Strummer, those who reinvent themselves tend to emerge with strong personalities.  It’s nice to care for a team’s culture.  But there are limits to respecting tradition when standards involve poor signings and silly draft reaches.

Nobody is safe.  It’s good to keep everyone on edge, especially rather talented players who may grow complacent due to status.  Frustrated fans demand everyone be traded.  Beware of granted wishes.

Photo of Jaguars DT Marcell Dareus (left) with CB AJ Bouye from

It’s still shocking to think about who was sent packing.  Dealing Marcell Dareus meant a massive hit to both the cap and interior defense, but his presence wasn’t worth it.  Sammy Watkins cost a ransom which he hadn’t paid back yet, you say?  Declare bankruptcy and start over.

Trades always involve a downside despite those proposed on talk radio suggesting Pro Bowlers can be acquired for the right package of reserves.  Beane has realistically pursued the opposite, namely recognizing advantages that may not be inherently evident.  He has emphasized that benefits to chemistry outweigh lost talent.  I mean, you need guys who can play.  But underachievers can disappoint other fanbases.

The Bills finally have a manager whose personality matches the feistier owner’s.  While Terry remains a quiet fellow who just happens to be worth 10 figures, Kim Pegula’s reputation for dismissing anyone she deems unnecessary makes her fit to head sports operations.

The incumbent general manager may not sadistically enjoy discarding jetsam.  But he’s willing to do the most essential part of his job.  The Pegulas found the perfect guy to hire for firing.  Beane and Sean McDermott are the two Bobs deciding who has people skills.

Photo from

Proficiency came ahead of schedule.  The Bills wandered into the postseason sooner than even their general manager would’ve predicted off the record.  We’re now one of those spoiled fanbases that expects to make the playoffs every year, right?  After having our patience tested for a near-eternity, we can only hope the next challenge is to not be spoiled by success.  Beane wasn’t expecting it immediately, which makes him just like us.

Well-rounded humans are not defined by work.  Take a general manager who rips out hearts only because it’s a task for which he was hired.  Beane seems like the nicest guy when he’s not working.  But a pro knows he must be cold while remaking a franchise so far off the radar that other fans forgot to mock it.

Overcoming expectations is particular challenge with this team.  New employees may be surprised by the psychic burden of chronically underwhelming performances.  The Bills really should put it in job descriptions.  But the new regime has neither complained about the tire fire they inherited nor boasted that it would be easy to extinguish.

Photo of Bills’ former GM Doug Whaley from

Beane seems unlikely to obey the pattern of overreaching.  Sometimes, foolishness is confused with boldness.  It’s easy to forget Beane has his first draft ahead, as Doug Whaley was still pretending to hold the title last April.  You knew he wasn’t actually in charge because they failed to trade a first-rounder for a parking voucher.

If you thought the Bills got good value last year, wait until it’s not a coach basically making personnel calls.  McDermott can focus on his job instead of serving as de facto general manager.  Like Joe Webb taking snaps, it’s fine when necessary although unsustainable if tried for too long.

We can’t argue with results.  I mean, the Patriots might find a way.  But grateful teams not aligned with the Dark Lord should be interested in what they can get without bartering souls.  Those who haven’t made shady deals with Beelzebub have to find more laborious ways to maintain prosperity.

Beer doesn’t burn calories, and that’s not even the worst news.  I’m sorry to note the Bills aren’t guaranteed to keep advancing.  But it turns out they’re not doomed to let us down every single time, either.  Beane’s quietly unrelenting drive provides optimism that this club didn’t peak by getting to Jacksonville.

The Bills are trying to win the regular season, which is more novel than it sounds.  The real way to remake the team wasn’t with screechy bombast but rather through a clear philosophy calmly put into action.  Buffalo’s already enjoyed judicious free agent signings working alongside calmly proficient draftees on his watch.  Wise general managers know wins don’t follow promises.  If Beane does his job, he won’t announce it beforehand.

Editor’s babble: Thanks to Anthony Bialy for keeping us laughing and presumably sane as Bills fans. You can follow Anthony on Twitter @AnthonyBialy.

*Views expressed on the blog are the opinion of the author and not necessarily the owners of the website.

About Anthony Bialy

Anthony Bialy recently moved back to Buffalo from New York City and acts like he never left. He thinks "Buffalo 66" is biographical and considers it a crime against mankind that Steve Tasker is not in the Hall of Fame. He likes getting Tim Hortons on the way to get Labatt Blue. Follow him on Twitter at @AnthonyBialy.

20 Replies to “Brandon Beane Generally Managing Progress for Buffalo Bills”

  1. “I mean, the Patriots might find a way. But grateful teams not aligned with the Dark Lord should be interested in what they can get without bartering souls. Those who haven’t made shady deals with Beelzebub have to find more laborious ways to maintain prosperity.” That’s awesome!!

    Whaley was good at finding gems in free agency, but he was a disaster at everything else. The overpayments to Clay and McCoy and trading up for a WR [Watkins] were all terrible moves. I’m not saying trading for McCoy was a bad move, but there was no need to re-do his contract at that time.

    So far, McBeane’s transformation of the Bills has been more positive than negative. I think everyone was surprised at how well the secondary did. My overall grade for them at this point is a “B.”

  2. “Whaley was good at finding gems in free agency, but he was a disaster at everything else. The overpayments to Clay and McCoy and trading up for a WR [Watkins] were all terrible moves. I’m not saying trading for McCoy was a bad move, but there was no need to re-do his contract at that time.”

    At the same time, Whaley was the GM for the last draft that’s being pumped up and we’re giving all the credit to McBeane. I’m sure McD had input on it, no doubt…but the guy is a coach, not a scout or talent evaluator…I don’t think he uncovered all those guys. And some credit Beane who wasn’t even with the team yet. I’m guessing it was much like it was with Wrecks: here’s a list of players we like at these positions…what do you need and who do you think is a good fit for your system?

    I can’t complain about the job they did last year…well, actually I could…I’d much rather be at the front of the line for a shiny new QB right now and not have to bend over to land him, but they achieved their goal, even if luck deserves most of the credit. And they accomplished it with a pretty half-assed roster…so good job, even if it was nearly a disaster without Cinci bailing them out (terrible draft position AND missed playoffs.) Like the punt in the Colts game, despite the overwhelming odds, it all worked out. Scoreboard. Now solve the QB riddle and show you can do it without horseshoes and clovers.

  3. Anthony—-That was outstanding!!!

    Doug Whaley was still pretending to hold the title last April.

    ” You knew he wasn’t actually in charge because they failed to trade a first-rounder for a parking voucher.”—Ha Ha Ha!!!

  4. ” You knew he wasn’t actually in charge because they failed to trade a first-rounder for a parking voucher.”—Ha Ha Ha!!!

    Well, they pissed away other draft picks for basically parking vouchers so you know Whaley was involved…either that or the current decision makers are really not much better. I don’t know that they needed to move up to land Zay Jones…and had they missed out on him, so friggin’ what? They also moved up for Dion Dawkins who at least looks solid so far, but again, did they need to? Who knows? We’ll also never know the players they missed out on to move up… It’s very likely Dak Prescott was a player they had serious interest in when they took Cardale a few spots later. The pick they traded to move up a few spots for Ragland would have been ahead of where Dallas grabbed Dak. And if Ragland didn’t fall to them where they were, (again, so what?) they could have taken Jarran Reed and not be so desperate for DT right now, although that desperation is partly the current crew’s own doing…

    Long story short, Whaley has plenty of rip worthy moves…no need to deny him his successes to make a point. Moral of the story, though, is QB is about the only position worth trading away picks for. And you could probably make an argument that instead of trading 3 or 4 picks for 1 QB prospect, use all 3 or 4 of those picks taking different QBs and you might have just as much chance of landing a legit starter. And if one of those picks is a first or second next year and one from your plethora this year pans out…well, you now just saved a high pick.

  5. Good morning…

    Z. Jones had a rough rookie year, he battled through some injuries but was average at best.. He has time to develop, I still remember Eric Mould was labeled a bust then took off on his 3rd year.

    Dawkins was solid at LT filling in for Glenn, now if Glenn can finally come into camp healthy the Bills may have their Tackle problems solved… Now they need guards and another center…

    Whaley hit on some picks but now they are on other teams–:)

  6. I’m not labeling Zay an outright bust…but raise your hand if you think the guy is going to be anything more than a respectable starter at best. If you’re trading away draft picks to move up a mere few spots, it better be for a pro-bowl caliber player. Why? Because you gave up 2 players for 1…so that 1 player better be something special. That’s the biggest reason that I think Whaley deserved to get the boot…because he seemed clueless in that dept. I just hope McBeane isn’t as loosey goosey with draft picks…and I think at least McD is since he signed off on Whaley going Whaley last year. Let’s hope Beane has more sense. That said, I’m still on board for giving it up for a QB…because that’s the one spot that can easily be worth 2, 3, or 4 players on his own…and even more if he’s a stud.

  7. We’ll see about Jones the trade may turn out to be a great trade or why the hell did we do that…

    Beansie and McD seem to have a grasp on which direction they are want to go and will do their due diligence on grading potential future Buffalo Bills …

    The trade up for Watkins was numbing and hurt the franchise, I agree if you were going to trade up to the #4 it should be for a QB..

    I’m getting ready to order my Ourlands Draft and draft digest this morning. I still miss the Pro Football Weekly draft book with Joel Buchsbaum (RIP Joel)….

  8. Bills
    At this point, it doesn’t seem likely that the Bills will cut Tyrod Taylor before they have a replacement lined up at quarterback, according to Ian Rapoport of (video link). Rapoport hears that the Bills are comfortable with paying Taylor’s $6MM roster bonus just to keep him on the roster, giving them the option of either trading him or keeping him to start this season in front of a rookie. If they pay out Taylor’s bonus, his contract will effectively boil down to a one-year, $10MM deal, which should make him attractive to QB-needy teams who lose out on this year’s top free agents or are unable to bid that high.

  9. haven’s seen Bilz post in quite a while :)
    heard a very informative interview with dan schonka of ourlads media who critiqued top QB prospects Mayfield, Darnold and Allen. he said that mayfield is the best of the bunch and has off the charts accuracy, leadership and ability to make the quickest, best decisions and processing the field.
    he would not pick darnold because of his 22 interceptions in (2) seasons calling him a turnover machine. he said that allen’s big weakness is that he cannot read the field or process quickly enough.

    he said that he favors other QBs in the draft ahead of both darnolld and allen.

    i wished he could have elaborated more but the announcers just wanted him to stroke the bears by offering his lofty opinions on mitch trubisky and how well the bears did to draft him last year.

    the guy sounded credible and informed and said enough to scare me away from darnold and allen, so at least i know who i want the bills not to pick once mayfield is off the board.

    • Nellie, I’ve been getting Ourlads for years and enjoy it because it offers a different take on rating players…

  10. good article AB, thank you. there will be plenty of time for beane to make headlines and hopefully they will turn out to be good ones even if they are questionable at the time.
    he definitely made some bold moves when considering the bills drought parched landscape and perceived value of they players that were ousted.
    it’s a lot easier to axe players you have no ties to and often done more so in spite of the player’s value to the team.
    it will be interesting to see how he will handles under performing players that he does have some personal investment in. hopefully he will not let his judgement be clouded by holding on to or forcing playing time for “his guys” even if they clearly need to go.

  11. “or why the hell did we do that…”

    I assume because one of his coaches was on the Bills staff. So far, they seemed to poorly evaluate his effectiveness at the next level. We’ll see how it pans out, but I still maintain he has to be better than an average starter to be worth having moved up for.

    I think it’s stupid to keep Tyrod on the roster if they don’t plan to keep him, though. The extra 5 mil in cap space isn’t likely worth what they’d get in return in a trade. You’re probably looking at a best case of a 4th round pick…best case. Considering the Bills don’t have a ton of cap space, you had better hit on a starting quality player with that pick if you burn 5 mil of cap on it, because that’s a decent starter’s salary.

    • It’s all about trade value for TT, the Bills will have to eat the $6 million but could get a high draft choice,,,

  12. Nobody wanted him last year when it wouldn’t have required any trade to get him. The Bills were going to part with him but he took a pay cut to come back because he had little interest and didn’t think there was a better option available. He didn’t show anything last year that would have raised his stock and there are more decent options available this year. So what could possibly be his market? I think they’d be lucky to get a 4th… More likely a conditional 5th or 6th…and only if they can find a team that wants him to start, because nobody is paying him 10 mil to be a backup.

  13. I think the Bills could be telling people in the media that they plan on keeping him so other teams won’t think the Bills are just going to cut him by March 16th and would just wait until then, that way they don’t have to give up any assets to get Taylor.

    Still no trades by the Sabres… Deadline is at 3:pm.

    • Smoke screen, TT’s pay of $10 million could have a team interested in him. I think the Bills $6 million in bonus money still counts against the Bills.

      Glennon may be freed up as the Bears paid him $18 million and are rumored to be ready to dump him.

  14. quite possibly and i’m sure those teams are believing that 100%, just like we believe that brian daboll will “work wonders” with him…

  15. I’m very leary of the so called top QBs in this years draft. Darnold has not impressed me in the few games I have watched him. Rosen seems like he thinks he is entitled and will cause problems. Allen and Jackson have accuracy issues and completed less than 60% passing in college. Mayfield looks to be the safest at the top of the draft.

    With our pick at 21 or 22 maybe the guy from Oklahoma State his name escapes me right now. In the 2nd or 3rd round possible Mike White or Luke Falk. We will have to see at the combine how their velocity is when throwing and if they throw a tight spiral.

    One good thing is no CB in rd 1 as the Bills signed Vontae Davis to a 1 year deal.

    • “One good thing is no CB in rd 1 as the Bills signed Vontae Davis to a 1 year deal.” Thank goodness!!! I’m so tired of seeing the Bills use first round picks on DB’s. It’s one thing if the Bills were Superbowl contenders, I could see using a first round pick on a DB, but with how many holes on the team, the Bills should be using that pick on a player that has the potential to sign with the team beyond his rookie deal (such as QB, O-lineman, LB, D-lineman).

  16. “I’m very leary of the so called top QBs in this years draft. ”

    Well, if there were a bunch of sure things, the Bills would have no chance at them because they’re sitting 20 spots back. Because they have some question marks, the teams at the top might be willing to pass and deal their pick to the Bills. I think my current hope is the Bills land Rosen or Mayfield. I’d still be good with Darnold, though. If the Bills don’t land one of those guys I think they should stay where they’re at, take the best guy remaining at 21…and then take another guy a round or two or 3 later and have them battle it out. If neither looks like a likely franchise savior, draft another one next year.