Beane: Bills still have plenty of room to maneuver

The Bills general manager spoke to the media on Thursday

Sal Capaccio
March 14, 2019 - 8:19 pm

Photo: Brian Spurlock - USA TODAY Sports

Brandon Beane isn’t happy about the way people have talked about Buffalo. The way they’ve said it’s not a destination free agents want to go. The way it’s been portrayed on social media and elsewhere.

“That pissed me off, to be candid,” the Buffalo Bills general manager said with his voice cracking after being asked to clear up the narrative that players don’t want to come to Buffalo, specifically after the team didn’t trade for Antonio Brown and it was reported by some that the wide receiver had nixed the trade because he didn’t want to go to the Bills. “It was an ignorant comment, and I’m not on social media, but if you live in Buffalo or know anything about Buffalo, I mean don’t speak about Buffalo if you don’t know this city and what this fan base is like. I mean it really pissed me off, because it’s not true and when you talk to players…how many guys flowed through here today? Eight? Nine? Whatever. And we could have had more. We didn’t have that narrative. This total [narrative> started with a bad rumor on the whole Antonio Brown thing, people looking for reasons and they didn’t have all the facts.

"People that have been here, I can’t tell you how many players commented, ‘this is amazing, this is awesome. What a facility, what a place, what a culture.’ All that stuff that we have going here. This city is, we love it. And all I’m going to say is anybody that says that doesn’t know Buffalo and really is just speaking out of ignorance.”

Beane was speaking to the local media a day after the team announced the additions of seven free agents and another during the same afternoon. Beane addressed his free agent class, and also made it clear the team isn’t done adding pieces and still has plenty of salary cap space to do more, if needed.

“I like who we ended up with. A lot of hours to get where we got,” he said.

Beane and head coach Sean McDermott have made it known since last season ended that a major focus of this offseason was going to be getting second year quarterback Josh Allen weapons and protection. All eight players the Bills added were on the offensive side of the ball, including three offensive linemen, three wide receivers, a tight end, and a running back. That was in addition to offensive lineman Spencer Long, signed last month, and cornerback Kevin Johnson, inked earlier in the week.

“We felt it took time to get our quarterback,” Beane said when asked if his plan when he arrived two years ago was to fix the defense first, then work on the offense. “It was a process. And you don’t just want to wait around and say, ‘ah, we’ll just let the whole team slide until we figure out this quarterback'….You have to have a good defense to win in this league.”

The general manager said the team still has approximately high $30 million-to-low $40 million in salary cap space after all the moves they’ve made, noting they still have to sign all of their draft picks with that money, but said “we still have plenty of room to maneuver should the opportunity be there for a marquee player that comes available [through> trade or release.”

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