As both training camp for the Bills and the official process of selling the franchise prepare to open at nearly the same time, Tim Graham of the Buffalo News points to the only virtual certainty currently surrounding the team.
After the new owner arrived, a bunch of people will get fired. Regardless of whether the owner is the guy with the “You’re fired!” catch phrase or someone else.
That’s the way it works in the NFL. New owner hires new people. The new owner’s people. Hand picked through a vision for constructing a football operation that would include any of the current executives and/or coaches only as a coincidence.
The folks running the Bills know it. They also know that the only way to save their jobs is to win the mob, putting together a team so strong that the fans would revolt if the new owner implements a new approach right away.
Regardless of what they say when explaining the move, that’s really why the Bills gave up a first-round pick and a fourth-round pick to move up five spots with the Browns for potential impact player Sammy Watkins. It’s also why the Browns two years ago moved up one spot for Trent Richardson and burned a second-round pick in the supplemental draft on receiver Josh Gordon. The powers-that-be knew that a new person would soon be holding ultimate power over the operation, and that anything other than a dramatic improvement in the team’s fortunes would result in pink slips flying like confetti in the ticker-tape parade that neither the Bills nor the Browns have ever had in the Super Bowl era.
The mandate for the Bills’ brass is to win enough games that the new owner won’t want to risk incurring the wrath of the fan base. Even then, change is inevitable, unless the Bills become a consistent contender so potent that the new owner adopts a new vision based on not fixing that which ain’t broke.