Doug Whaley claims credit for “parting gift” of two first-round picks

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Former Bills G.M. Doug Whaley broke his silence after being fired three weeks ago. Some would say he shouldn’t have.

Appearing on SiriusXM NFL Radio (via Mike Rodak of, Whaley made this claim regarding the trade that saw the Bills drop from No. 10 in round one to No. 27: “As a parting gift, we left them with two [first-round picks] next year.”

This implies that Whaley, who would be fired less than three days after the trade was made, actually had any say over the decision to swap the top-10 pick that the team’s subpar performance earned for the selection belonging to one of the final-eight franchises. That’s how the Bills picked up a second first-rounder in 2018.

Even if Whaley was involved, it wasn’t a “gift”; it was the result of a deliberate decision-making process fueled by a very strong desire on the part of the Chiefs to land quarterback Patrick Mahomes.

Whaley likely was trying to be loose or funny or whatever. After his disastrous January press conference, however, his words will now be as scrutinized as his personnel decisions if/when he’s ever considered for other G.M. positions. On that point, Whaley said that if he ever gets another job of that kind in the future, he’ll have a clear objective from the get-go. “I would make sure I secured a franchise QB, quickly.”

If it were only that easy. As more than a few teams have proven more than a few times each, it’s not like ordering a new sweatshirt on Amazon.

Whaley surely thought he had found a franchise quarterback in 2013, when the team made EJ Manuel the first quarterback drafted. Whaley got it wrong, which could make it a lot harder for him to ever get another chance to find a franchise quarterback.

That doesn’t mean Whaley shouldn’t be gainfully employed in the NFL. He did very well in the Pittsburgh front office, well enough to become a G.M. He has a place in the league, just not one that requires speaking extemporaneously in public or securing franchise quarterbacks.

24 responses to “Doug Whaley claims credit for “parting gift” of two first-round picks

  1. If you look at Whaley he actually did an OK job – they built a great defense and got some good young skill players at first. But he missed big on the QB.

    When Ryan came in it seemed like the mentality changed and they spent big on declining veterans. Combined with inept coaching it all fell apart.

  2. What about the two first round picks you used to obtain Sammy Watkins with no quarterback, whom was told his option would not be picked up?

  3. Other than the EJ Manuel fiasco, the team had decent drafts but didn’t really advance during the Whaley years. Good riddance.

  4. Then we’ll call it even considering you(Whaley) used two 1st round picks to draft Sammy Watkins.

  5. Totally inept as a gm. Four first round draft picks were either incapable of NFL play, (ej manual), injured like Watkins and Ragland, or in Cleveland,(2015) pick, thru the 2016 season. Now even Belicheck(sp?) could win with loses like that. Whaley does not understand that teams are built thru the draft. He should have been fired as soon as new ownership took over for no other reason than the Watkins trade.

  6. pretty much sticking it to the worst owner in the league after Bob Kraft, Pegula. Pegula is only not rated the worst because he doesn’t build a culture of cheating.

  7. I thought Whaley was a good scout, with the exception of evaluating QBs, and that will get you fired every time. The rest of the roster is pretty competitive. They’re just a QB away. If I had to bet, I’d bet on the Bills going in reverse.

  8. Whaley was the absolute WORST here in Buffalo. Blown QB pick, and then doubled down by blowing another set of picks by drafting Watkins, who Manuel couldn’t possibly hit….

    Manuel can’t hit the broad side of a barn with a handful of rice from 5 feet away. Everyone on earth could see that, except for Whaley.

    Good bye and good luck….

  9. I think Doug Whaley is very fortunate that he found himself in the position to make the mistakes he made in the first place.
    The guy never had any business being an NFL GM.
    Someone over-hired and he’s paying the price. It’s not his fault he was over his head.

  10. Whaley is the worst kind of gift-giver: the reverse re-gifter. He’s just got from the Chiefs what he gave to the Browns. Both desperate attempts and over-reaches. At least the Chiefs went after a QB. Whaley wanted Watkins, a WR whom he could have bypassed in favor of OBJ. Unfortunately, he forgot someone needed to throw him the ball.

    There’s the great irony of his profound parting wisdom. If you don’t know on day one your sole purpose as a GM is to secure a franchise QB, you don’t deserve to be a GM on day one.

  11. If you can build a good team you don’t need a franchise quarterback. Ravens, for example, have won Super Bowls twice with two different JAGs at quarterback. Manning was barely average during Denver’s last Super Bowl winning season. A franchise quarterback can help your team overcome adversity and weaknesses but if you build a good team, you can win with a guy who is merely decent.

  12. dude went completely off the rails after leaving pittsburgh. not sure what happened, fairly certain he won’t be back in the nfl. big oops.

  13. Here’s a thought, rather than trading back maybe you should have drafted Patrick Mahomes with the 10th pick. You know, since you missed on that last qb pick.

  14. Whaley’s biggest gaffe was falling for Rex. Whaley has always gravitated towards big personalities commanding prescences, ie EJ Manuel and Rex Ryan the same two men who ended up getting him fired! lol. This is not corporate america where you hire based on how extraverted and alpha the Canidate is! Still a bad way to hire btw.. this is the NFL!!

  15. If you listen to the interview it’s very positive overall and this was a small piece said in jest. Whaley also owns up to EJ and spending two picks on Sammy as why he should have been fired. I guess the article isn’t inaccurate but the interview had a much different feel.

  16. Whaley did better than okay with free agent finds, but his draft history is not great. Watkins deal was the worst, when OBJ could have been had.

    Tim Graham (Buffalo News) is right, he wasted all those Bills years as a GM. Running up the payroll without results was not good. He was over his head as GM.

  17. Patriots are grateful for the gifts of Hogan and Gillesee. My hope is that the Fish hire Whaley for GM so he can fire a good young coach and destroy the team they are building.

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