Bills’ brass ‘breaking the internet’ by making smart moves in free agency

Photo of Bills’ GM Brandon Beane from

After nearly a generation of failure, discontent and abject misery, are we witnessing one of the greatest turnaround stories in Bills’ history? Have we finally won the lottery of front offices?

All indications seem to point in that direction. Buffalo sports fans are pinching themselves until they bleed watching the Bills operate to secure the best deals in free agency this season. We haven’t had a wheeler-dealer like Brandon Beane since Bill Polian was in his prime putting together a team that would go on to four Super Bowls in a row.

Even ProFootballTalk, notoriously critical of the Bills in the past tweeted out this bomb on Wednesday:

Have we morphed through a black hole into a different universe?

If that wasn’t enough to make ‘BuffaLOVians’ jump for joy, surely the University of Buffalo men AND women’s basketball teams invitation and St. Bonaventure’s improbable victory over UCLA in the NCAA tournament is likely enough to send most of us over the edge.

It’s a New York state of mind these days, isn’t it? Even Syracuse joined the celebration with a big victory over Arizona State on Wednesday evening. With all the happy sports news in Western New York these days, it even makes a dismal Sabres team easier to endure while they get themselves sorted out.

Regarding the Bills, it isn’t just the caliber of players Brandon Beane and Sean McDermott are assembling that is raising eyebrows around the league; it’s how they are acquiring them. Signing quarterback AJ McCarron isn’t necessarily a coup, but getting him to sign for reportedly half the amount Josh McCown signed for with the Jets is flat-out robbery.

There were even whispers defensive end Trent Murphy spurned the Patriots in order to sign with the Bills. With all the alleged turmoil going on behind the scenes in the Patriots front office, it makes one wonder if finally the success pendulum is swinging away from Gillette stadium and finally headed to the shores of Lake Erie.

Look no further than Rob Gronkowski’s cryptic instagram post to Danny Amendola after he signed with the Miami Dolphins:

So are we about to finally reap our reward for remaining loyal to a team mired in perpetual mediocrity for seemingly forever?

At last we no longer have to be insulted with market gimmickry and incompetent leadership. Even those of us who live in far-flung places can wear our Bills gear with pride, without being ridiculed for supporting a team submerged in a dynasty of despair.

How far have we come since the buffoonery of the Ryan brothers or the mind-numbing boredom from watching Dick Jauron as a head coach? No more hanging our heads when the front office leaks like a sieve and cycles through yet another coach and general manager every two to three years.

Although it may appear a foreign concept for anyone under legal drinking age in Buffalo, there really was a time in Buffalo when the Bills were the toast of the entire NFL. Just ask the guys who made it happen; Jim Kelly and company. They’re more than ready to pass the mantle on to the next generation of glory seekers.

We are blessed, Buffalo. The light you see now – this is the end of the tunnel of turmoil, the renunciation of perpetual mediocrity, the last breath of the dynasty of despair. Breathe deeply and prepare to be joyous sooner than later.

Editor’s babble: You can almost feel the winds of change blowing gently across the AFC East. Enjoy this moment because it’s a glorious time to be not only a Bills fan, but a fan of all WNY sports. If you have the stomach for it, you can find me on Twitter @RobynMundyWYO.

Views expressed by authors are not necessarily the opinion of the owners of the website.

About Robyn Mundy

Robyn Mundy is Editor-in-Chief of the BillsMafia blog at She's a retired oncology nurse & psychotherapist who loves to write about her life-long passion for the Buffalo Bills, and occasionally something of clinical or social relevance. Robyn lives with her husband Gary and their dogs in the foothills of the Big Horn Mountains in Wyoming. Robyn is also a proud founding sponsor. Follow her on Twitter at @RobynMundyWYO.

13 Replies to “Bills’ brass ‘breaking the internet’ by making smart moves in free agency”

  1. So far, I’ve been very impressed with McBeane. The good has outweighed the bad with them. The only bad things that I’ve seen in regards to personnel/management decisions has been the hiring of Rick Dennison and the signing of Mike Tolbert. At least, McBeane realized quickly that those two weren’t working out and sent them on their way after one season. Other than that, they’ve done a very good job at transforming the roster into a playoff team, getting rid of expensive contracts, trading players for assets, getting FA’s at reasonable prices and have set themselves up to move into the Top 5 of the draft to select a franchise QB. It’s a breath of fresh air to have a front office that values the QB position and is not going to settle on another team’s cast off. I’m interested in seeing how this team is built over the next few years as the Bills have close to $100M in cap space in 2019.

  2. so far this organization is literally walking the walk. probably the most eagerly anticipated drafts in decades is on the doorstep. and the organization deserves the credit for thinking ahead and making the necessary moves to set this exciting stage for us. hopefully they will keep thier sensibilities and not reach for the moon, sticking to the process as they have been. i agree robyn,

  3. I think I’d like to have seen them hang on to Watkins. Had they picked up his option, he’d be counting similar to Benjamin right now…and they’d have a mountain of cap come next year to resign him if he proved to be worth the money. But so far this offseason my only complaint has been overpaying Ivory, but if that’s the Billsiest move they make, I can easily live with that. They’re making smart decisions and getting legit value for guys they have no intention of keeping. That in itself has been impressive.

  4. Joma- don’t you think $ 16 M/year is extremely excessive for the production Watkins provides?

  5. Greg, maybe…but they wouldn’t have had to pay him 16m this year. They had the fifth year option to use this year and the franchise tag at their disposal next year. 2 or 3 more years to evaluate his worth…and filling a need the Bills are sort of desperate for at the mo. Speed at WR!

  6. The fifth year option would have still cost $ 13 M, not sure if that would have been within the Bills budget.

    At least they are getting something for these guys before they become free agents or are released.

  7. What’s Benjamin’s 5th year option cost them? Probably about the same as Watkins’ would have. They wouldn’t have traded for Benjamin if they had kept Watkins. I’d rather have Watkins than Benjamin… That said, it’s not the end of the world. I was just adding to Steve’s small list of disagreeable moves. So far this offseason, I’ve been quite impressed with Beane…and the Watkins decision wasn’t entirely made by Beane. He traded him, but only after McD had already declined the 5th year option making Watkins a FA this offseason, which Beane wasn’t yet on staff and didn’t have a say over. Maybe Beane would have handled the situation different with another year on his deal…or maybe he would have gotten a better return, I dunno. If we want to talk unpopular opinions, though, Beane is well on his way to making me a believer in him…McD is the one in my eyes that still has a lot to prove.

  8. Joma, McD took a team to the playoffs in his first year with an average QB and changed the culture in the locker room. Can he continue to get better absolutely but with him and Beanie they form a very efficient duo… I still think he had a lot to do with last years draft and Whaley was on the outside looking in.

  9. Goose, I think he did fine last year. The team certainly got more out of less. However, I think it had more to do with a terrible AFC and a lot of luck, and I saw a good number of head scratching decisions made on game day. I don’t dislike McD…I’m just not sold that he’s anything special yet.

    • He does need to continue to improve and the team to follow the improvement… Coaches like players can be one year wonders, but dam he seems to be the type of coach the Bills have needed for years…

  10. How many games did Sammy play in during his stellar career with the Bills? Didn’t Benjamin play with a torn miniscus for the last 3 games of the season…..McDermott has proven himself, Beane has proven himself and the entire organization is going in a better direction, ESPECIALLY keeping selfish players off the roster!

  11. “How many games did Sammy play in during his stellar career with the Bills? Didn’t Benjamin play with a torn miniscus for the last 3 games of the season…”

    I don’t know, but whatever it was, he put up more than the 16 catches and 217 yards Benjamin did.