Buffalo Bills: Potential GM candidates to replace Doug Whaley

Jan 13, 2017; Orchard Park, NY, USA; Buffalo Bills new head coach Sean McDermott (left) speaks during a press conference as general manager Doug Whaley looks on at AdPro Sports Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 13, 2017; Orchard Park, NY, USA; Buffalo Bills new head coach Sean McDermott (left) speaks during a press conference as general manager Doug Whaley looks on at AdPro Sports Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports /

The Buffalo Bills made a shocking move by firing GM Doug Whaley a day after the 2017 NFL Draft. Here’s who they could hire for the vacant position.

Last weekend, the Buffalo Bills spent the NFL Draft filling holes on their team. After the firing of GM Doug Whaley, there’s now one more spot to fill.

Head coach Sean McDermott basically ran this year’s draft, but he can’t be expected to be GM and play caller on Sundays. So it’s essential the Bills find someone to replace Whaley, and quick.

Luckily, the search is already starting. Before we discuss candidates, it’s important to note that this is not a wish-list. The most likely choices have a connection to Sean McDermott, which makes sense. He’ll want to work with somebody he enjoys being around.

In other words, don’t just assume the Bills can poach from the Patriots or Steelers personnel department.

Here’s a list of candidates that can replace Doug Whaley:

Brandon Beane

Assistant GM for Carolina Panthers

This would be the obvious hire. Beane is the Panthers’ GM Dave Gettleman’s right hand man. In 1998, he joined Carolina by starting in their communications section. Beane then spent years rising through the team’s scouting department before getting hired as assistant GM in 2015.

He’s not the ultimate decision-maker in the building, but he deserves some credit for helping assemble a Super Bowl-caliber roster. That team has a franchise quarterback, solid offensive pieces and a very good defense.

That defense, of course, was coached by Sean McDermott from 2011-2016. With the knowledge of Beane’s decision making skills, the coach has an idea of the kind of partner he’d be getting. It’s like a marriage where both people were friends for years before tying the knot.

The only downside to Beane is we really don’t know what he’d be as a GM yet. Gettleman still made all of the final personnel decisions, good or bad, in Carolina. Just because someone is a good scout doesn’t mean they’ll be a competent GM; just ask Doug Whaley.

But being unknown as a decision-maker is a much better problem than being bad at your job. Considering the McDermott connection, I wouldn’t be surprised if this hire happened.

MUST READ: Grading All 6 Draft Picks by the Buffalo Bills

Brett Veach

Co-Director of  Player Personnel for Kansas City Chiefs

Brett Veach worked under Andy Reid in Philadelphia along with McDermott. When Reid was fired in 2012, Veach moved to Kansas City along with him. While Chiefs GM John Dorsey has the final say on decisions, Veach deserves credit for a quietly impressive roster.

Kansas City has an aggressive defense, a dominant special teams game and explosive players like Travis Kelce and Tyreek Hill. Like Beane, he’s also been a long-time scout, so he knows how to hit diamonds in the rough.

The only knock against them is they have an average quarterback. Then again, they still win a lot of games with him. Considering the Buffalo Bills also have a mobile QB that plays smart football, why can’t they do the same?

It also helps when he has the same agent as McDermott. He also has a famous Bills player supporting him. Given the connections and experience, his name will definitely be considered.

Brian Gaine

Director of Player Personnel for Houston Texans

This one is a surprise. According to John McClain of the Houston Chronicle, Gaine is being considered for the Bills GM job. In fact, he reported that Gaine is meeting with Bills’ owner Terry Pegula at his office in Boca Raton, Florida.

Gaine was hired by Texans GM Rick Smith in 2014. During his time there, the Texans assembled a fearsome defense and have an explosive receiver in DeAndre Hopkins. But all his scouting ability can’t translate to finding a quarterback; they’ve had nine different starters at that position since 2014.

In addition, his role in the Brock Osweiler fiasco needs to be explained.

Gaine has a lot of experience, though. In addition to his time in Houston, he’s also worked for the Dallas Cowboys, New York Jets and Miami Dolphins. During his time in Miami, he actually rose to the title of assistant GM from 2012-2013.

For all the quarterback mistakes made in Houston, it was always Rick Smith’s final call, meaning it’s unsure if Gaine deserves any blame.

There’s no reported connection to McDermott, but it sounds like the Buffalo Bills are doing their research for a quality candidate. If he impresses, we’re sure to hear about him more.

Next: Who did the AFC East select in this year's NFL Draft?

Who do YOU think the Buffalo Bills should hire as their next GM? Leave your answers below!