Buffalo's search for a new general manager has come to a close.
The Bills on Tuesday announced that Brandon Beane has been hired to replace Doug Whaley, who was fired along with his scouts after the draft. A close associate of Bills coach Sean McDermott, Beane received a five-year deal that runs concurrent with the pact for Buffalo's new head coach, a source involved in negotiations told NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport. Beane will have control of the 53-man roster, Rapoport added Wednesday.
Beane spent 19 years with the Panthers, where he served as Carolina's assistant general manager over the past two seasons. Prior to that, he operated as the team's director of football operations for eight years.
"During our search for a new general manager, Brandon stood out to Kim [Pegula] and I as he embodies the type of leader and type of person we want in our organization," Bills owner and CEO Terry Pegula said in a statement released by the team. "Brandon has excelled in a variety of roles for a Panthers team that has consistently competed at a high-level in this league. We feel his vast understanding and experience in many facets of football operations will be invaluable to our club moving forward."
In Carolina, Beane worked under one of the league's top GMs in Dave Gettleman. The understudy also had a front-row seat to watch McDermott evolve into a bright and sought-after defensive mind.
"I am very excited for Brandon Beane. Brandon is a guy who started at the bottom and worked his way up," Panthers coach Ron Rivera said in a statement. "He started as an intern here, starting in the football operations department and eventually became the head of the football operations department. He started evaluating talent and learned that part of the business as well. He became our assistant general manager and has been a tremendous help to me over the last few years as we made our runs in the playoffs - three straight NFC South division champions. Brandon played a big part in that."
If the timing of Whaley's firing was somewhat surprising, the decision itself was long coming. McDermott has been given considerable power to shape the Bills in his image and select his own lieutenants.
There's no question McDermott and Beane believe they can make this work. The issue in Buffalo is whether team brass -- one rung up the ladder -- will exhibit the requisite patience to allow the Bills to grow and develop over the course of multiple seasons.