The Bills didn’t waste any time.
Around 16 hours after helping to decide Buffalo’s final 2017 draft pick, GM Doug Whaley was fired by the Bills.
The move comes after weeks of heavy speculation that Whaley’s position was in trouble. All signs have pointed in bright neon lights that new head coach Sean McDermott is calling the shots at One Bills Drive.
In a statement, Bills owner Terry Pegula said: “We have enjoyed working with Doug. He is a good person and we want to thank him for his work and commitment to our football team. This was my decision. It was not an easy decision but I believe it’s the right one for the future of the Buffalo Bills.”
Pegula expanded in a press conference Sunday morning.
“I have enjoyed working with Doug. He’s a very good person,” he said. “The decision was made now because this is the end of the scouting year for our pro personnel departments. I want to make it clear that this decision was made by Kim (Pegula) and I.”
Also out are the entire pro and amateur scouting staffs, including Director of College Scouting Kevin Fisher and Director of Pro Personnel Jim Monos.
Pegula says the search for a new GM will start immediately. The Pegulas will be in charge…. with help.
“We’re going to use every resource we can inside and outside the organization to find the right person,” Pegula said. “We’re going to ask Sean questions, absolutely.”
The rumors of Whaley’s demise have mostly been coupled with those stating the new GM will very familiar to Sean McDermott.
Late Saturday night, Jason LaCanfora of CBS Sports speculated current Panthers assistant GM could be a top candidate.
Pegula would not say what the exact power structure would be in Buffalo going forward and indicated that plan is still being formulated.
Despite appearances to the contrary, McDermott will not have GM power.
“Sean’s a head coach. The GM’s going to be the GM,” Pegula said.
In four seasons owning the Bills, the Pegulas will already be on their third head coach and second general manager. Pegula was asked why fans should trust that this time, they’ll get it right.
“I own the team and they have to believe in us as owners, just like we have to try to believe in our players when we put them on the field,” Pegula said. “We’re going to try to make the best decision we can in the future and we’ve made big decisions all our lives.”
McDermott was asked after the draft if he would continue to speak for the team, even concerning questions that would normally be handled by a GM.
“As long as I’m the head coach, I do.”
It’s clearly a brand new start in Orchard Park.