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Bills tiptoe through the “final say” minefield

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The Bills have spent most of the week looking for a new General Manager. It’s still not clear whether the General Manager will be a traditional General Manager who runs the show, or whether it will be a G.M. in name only, who ultimately works for coach Sean McDermott.

Here’s the problem the Bills are facing: Unless they’ll be hiring someone currently not under contract with another team, they’ll have to offer true G.M. powers in order to avoid having the hire blocked.

That could be one of the reasons why the description of the job has shifted from “front office candidate” to General Manager. And that shift could give a team like the Panthers or the Texans reason to ask tough questions about whether Brandon Beane or Brian Gaine, respectively, would actually be getting the powers necessary to permit the move.

Of course, the Panthers or the Texans may not be inclined to make an issue out of it. And if the contract does indeed give the new G.M. true G.M. powers, there may be nothing to do.

The challenge then would be ensuring that the next G.M. realizes that his contract doesn’t mean what it says, and that he shouldn’t actually try to exercise those powers. Otherwise, he could be led out of the building by security before the end of the first season, Kokinis-style.

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27 Responses to “Bills tiptoe through the “final say” minefield”
  1. walker1191 says: May 6, 2017 12:21 PM

    Gee, it’s hard to figure out why this team hasn’t made the playoffs in 24 years.

  2. johnnnyschatzan says: May 6, 2017 12:38 PM

    Might as well fire both of them now.

  3. raiderinva says: May 6, 2017 12:42 PM

    This sounds like the perfect rebound situation for Scot McCloughan….

  4. deepenwide says: May 6, 2017 12:45 PM

    Also, the new “GM” must understand that when they work for the “family” they can’t quit until the “family” says they can…

  5. therealtrenches says: May 6, 2017 12:47 PM

    What a mess.

    It’s too late to undo the mistake they made by deciding hire McDermott before firing Whaley.

    They need to hire a true GM and let that person actually function like one. They can still do that, but only if they see the error of their ways up to this point. If they think it’s a good idea to hand over the keys to McDermott and let a powerless GM do his bidding, they might be in trouble. McDermott’s a first time coach who needs to focus on his staff and his team.

  6. billswillnevermove says: May 6, 2017 12:51 PM

    walker1191 says:
    May 6, 2017 12:21 PM

    Gee, it’s hard to figure out why this team hasn’t made the playoffs in 24 years.
    __________________________________
    Too bad you don’t have a clue at what you are talking about and neither does the writer. Has worked out pretty good for the Patriots, BB runs that team, no GM. Same with the Seahawks, they hired Pete before a GM. Clueless.

  7. oscarxray says: May 6, 2017 12:51 PM

    It may look messy but I think the Bills are setting themselves up for success with the HC having most of the power. Chain of command is important and the players need to know the HC determines whether they make the team, get playing time, and can cut them at any time throughout the season.

  8. therealtrenches says: May 6, 2017 1:23 PM

    @oscarxray: I hope you’re right, but keep in mind that the majority of teams that have won championships have done so without the players knowing that the HC commanded the kind of absolute power you describe.

    I’m no fan of McDermott, and I don’t think he’s capable of wielding that kind of power.

    But I do like the Bills and I want to see them do well. I’ll become a fan of McDermott’s if he has success there.

  9. mojodoa says: May 6, 2017 1:42 PM

    I’ll take the job. Good salary, someone else makes all the decisions…can run the office out of a strip club.

  10. timmyp716 says: May 6, 2017 1:55 PM

    17 seasons and counting

  11. whatevnfl says: May 6, 2017 2:13 PM

    This should end well.

  12. maust1013 says: May 6, 2017 2:33 PM

    billswillnevermove says:
    May 6, 2017 12:51 PM

    Too bad you don’t have a clue at what you are talking about and neither does the writer. Has worked out pretty good for the Patriots, BB runs that team, no GM. Same with the Seahawks, they hired Pete before a GM. Clueless.
    ====================

    If you are really equating an unproven Sean McDermott with Belichick and Carroll I just have to ask, which one of the 2 people pictured above are you?

  13. bocadiver1 says: May 6, 2017 2:52 PM

    Linking the names “McDermott” and “BB” is quite a stretch. Carroll has yet to prove himself after his core team ages or departs. Since that’s about it for HC/GM comparisons that leaves a whole lot of championships, including pre-Super Bowl, won the more traditional way. (Oops, sorry, forgot Paul Brown)

  14. novajoemicmac says: May 6, 2017 4:22 PM

    McDermott comes from the Andy Reid tree; he’s following Reid’s hierarchy style. I get it, McDermott isn’t Reid but I sure like what he’s doing already. He killed it in the draft.

  15. exinsidetrader says: May 6, 2017 4:53 PM

    Bills should hire Belichick’s son.

  16. george1859 says: May 6, 2017 5:07 PM

    I think those who are questioning BWNM have to remember that without Tom Brady, there is no Belichick mystique…period.
    The Pats accidentally backed into the QB G.O.A.T., and he’s brought BB along for the ride..

    The Bills believe that this design will work better than a coach/GM constantly battling it out.

  17. campcouch says: May 6, 2017 5:43 PM

    Good. The owner only needs one axe and the players know that they can’t overstep the coach.

  18. styro1 says: May 6, 2017 6:18 PM

    What the Bills really need is a yes man who will take the blame when Kim Pegula’s moves don’t pan out.

  19. styro1 says: May 6, 2017 6:27 PM

    george1859 says:
    May 6, 2017 5:07 PM
    I think those who are questioning BWNM have to remember that without Tom Brady, there is no Belichick mystique…period.
    The Pats accidentally backed into the QB G.O.A.T., and he’s brought BB along for the ride..
    _______________________________
    Really? The Pats won their 1st Super Bowl with very good defense and special teams along with a lot of field goals. Brady was mainly a game manager his first year as a starter.

  20. brettfavreisapacker4ever says: May 6, 2017 7:01 PM

    The issue I see is usually a GM wants “HIS COACH” and in this scenario, it could be awkward for a new GM. With that said, I can only come to the conclusion this new GM will be the GM in title only. You can’t have a new GM come in and fire the newly signed head coach. That’s insane.
    Maybe not for the Dolts with Irsay running the show. 🙂

    This will be like KC where Dorsey AND Reid work together, and Andy has final say. Seattle is another example.
    I think it will be important that McDermott has a say in the hire.

  21. The Analytical Kid says: May 6, 2017 7:56 PM

    styro1 says:

    Really? The Pats won their 1st Super Bowl with very good defense and special teams along with a lot of field goals. Brady was mainly a game manager his first year as a starter.

    And everything since then has been won because of Brady. Not really a good counterargument.

  22. breadmeatcheese says: May 6, 2017 10:01 PM

    mcdermott is a coordinator with no people skills.

    he will alienate his players and then soil himself.

  23. nhpats says: May 7, 2017 9:06 AM

    The Analytical Kid says:
    May 6, 2017 7:56 PM
    styro1 says:

    Really? The Pats won their 1st Super Bowl with very good defense and special teams along with a lot of field goals. Brady was mainly a game manager his first year as a starter.

    And everything since then has been won because of Brady. Not really a good counterargument.

    ——–

    You guys really need to get your stories straight. First you claim Brady is just a “system QB” and that anyone could win with BB. Now you claim that BB is nothing without Brady. Well, which is it?

  24. unclebluck says: May 7, 2017 9:32 AM

    As a Bills fan all I can say is the Pegullables continue in their
    “throw money at the problem” ways….bestowing this kind of power to a coach with no HC/GM experience coming from another under performing team…..18 years with no playoffs…here we come….

  25. WesternNYhotmess says: May 7, 2017 11:05 AM

    Just a hot mess in western NY

  26. walker1191 says: May 7, 2017 12:38 PM

    What’s more likely:

    1. McDermott has total control of the organization and leads the Bills to the playoffs?

    2. The Bills are right back to total rebuilding mode in 2-3 years?

  27. sjl61470 says: May 7, 2017 12:57 PM

    george1859 says:
    May 6, 2017 5:07 PM
    I think those who are questioning BWNM have to remember that without Tom Brady, there is no Belichick mystique…period.
    The Pats accidentally backed into the QB G.O.A.T., and he’s brought BB along for the ride..

    The Bills believe that this design will work better than a coach/GM constantly battling it out.
    ====

    The part you are omitting is that BB kept Brady as starter when Bledsoe got healthy. He could have easily send him to the bench with a thank you and no one would’ve batted an eye. NE doesn’t even get to SB36 without the call by BB. It’s chicken or the egg.

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