by Mario Granata
Much has been made (especially in the 716) about the 'connection' that current Buffalo Bills GM Brandon Beane has with New York Giants GM Dave Gettleman, however, how much do we the public know about their relationship behind closed doors. If you happen to be a conspiracy theorist, strap in, this is going to be good.
The Buffalo Bills fans have been starved for a franchise quarterback for the past two decades and although Tyrod Taylor gave Bills fans a parting gift of breaking the playoff drought, it wasn't enough for him to remain as 'the guy' in Buffalo. With the 2018 Quarterback Draft Class being as deep as people say it is, and the recent actions of other teams such as Los Angeles and Philadelphia (trading up), Bills fans are hoping that their team will follow the same path. It seems like almost a certainty that the Bills with the Beane/Gettleman connection are going to trade to the 2nd pick to select their franchise guy. Here are a few points to ponder while you think about that 'connection'.
Beane was with the Carolina organization for nearly 20 years. During his time he saw Hurney, who was the GM of the Carolina Panthers from 2002-2012 make his way up through the ranks of the Panthers. Prior to becoming the GM, Hurney was the Director of Player Operations. This was the same position that Beane took over in 2008. So, when the Panthers were looking for a GM in January of 2013, it would seem like a no-brainer that Beane would be next in line. That was not-to-be as the Panthers went outside of the organization and hired Gettleman from the Giants to be their new GM. This may have caused Beane to harbor some resentment toward Gettleman and ultimately the organization.
As Bills fans have seen, the scouting department doesn't work from season beginning to season end. They work draft to draft. This was the reason that once McDermott was hired, Doug Whaley and his staff weren't let go until the draft was completed. They had done all the leg work until then and to avoid a conflict of interest, the Bills hung onto him so that their draft wasn't corrupted. I had already mentioned that Gettleman was hired in January of 2013 and with the draft 3 months later, the Carolina scouting department already did the work for that year's draft, including Beane. That draft, their first selection with the 13th overall pick was Star Lotulelei. McDermott was already in Carolina since 2011 so it could have ultimately been his call that he wanted Star and that coupled with the fact that Star followed McDermott to Buffalo, you can see there was a connection.
Using the logic from the previous paragraph, this will 'technically' be Beane's first draft that he and his scouting department have full ownership of. 2014 would mark the first draft for Gettleman and his first ever pick was...Kelvin Benjamin. This is another player who found his way to the land of Chicken Wings and Cold Beer. Now, if you are of the mindset that Beane and Gettleman didn't have the warmest of relationships, this could have been a slight to Gettleman from Beane. Gettlemen and his staff obviously wanted Benjamin, or could it have been the case that Beane ultimately made the call to draft Benjamin. We can never know for sure, but the fact that the following year (2015) Beane was named Assistant GM of the Panthers you can see he had more influence that people realize.
The year that Beane was promoted to Assistant GM, the Panthers made it to the Super Bowl. With that type of success who would have thought that two years later, Beane would be gone and even better, a year later Gettleman would be gone? It could be a case that the slight that the Panthers threw at Beane was just too much to overcome, and with Beane gone, perhaps Gettleman was a man without an island and decided to move to greener pastures.
Now, I fully understand that a lot of this is reaching, however, it is feasible to believe that Beane and Gettleman didn't have the warmest of relationships during their time in Carolina which would definitely hamper discussions around draft time. I am one to believe that the Bills will look to both Cleveland or Indianapolis for a trade partner (if that is their intention to trade up). Just some points to ponder while you think about the Bills moves over the next couple of months.
One more point to ponder. If the first overall pick that Gettleman ever executed as a GM was to draft Kelvin Benjamin, and if the recent video that surfaced with Odell Beckham Jr. has any repercussions, Benjamin could be a nice piece to accompany a pick if the Bills were to trade up with the Giants. I mean, Beane used Cordy Glenn to move up 9 spots in the draft, so could he use Benjamin (and a few more picks) to move up 10 more? Time will tell.