The Buffalo Bills announced Monday that Buddy Nix has stepped down from his role as Executive Vice President/General Manager and will transition to Special Assistant. The move comes just three weeks after team president Russ Brandon said, "Buddy Nix is our general manager and will be for a long time."
Out of respect for the outgoing general manager, the Bills have no plans to announce Nix's successor on Monday, a Bills source told NFL.com's Albert Breer. The plan has been for assistant general manager Doug Whaley to succeed Nix since Whaley was hired away from the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2010.
The transition from Nix to Whaley was foreshadowed when the Bills extended the latter's contract with a succession plan early this year. In other words, the decision might have been as much Brandon's as Nix's.
Nix, 73, came to the Bills along with former head coach Chan Gailey prior to the 2010 season. In three seasons together, the pair managed just a 16-32 record. It was Nix's first stint as a general manager after a long career as a college coach, pro scout and front-office executive with the Bills and San Diego Chargers.
Although Nix poured resources into a constantly changing defense that failed to live up to expectations, his most memorable move was the six-year, $62 million contract awarded to backup-caliber quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick. Time will tell if first-rounder EJ Manuel makes up for that blunder.
Now that he has piloted the Bills through the 2013 NFL Draft, Nix stated that it is the right time to step aside because he's leaving "a good young roster" and "an excellent head coach with a good staff." The Bills should be in good hands with Whaley, a respected talent evaluator who helped build two Super Bowl teams with the Steelers.
Follow Chris Wesseling on Twitter @ChrisWesseling.