How and why this offseason was Brandon Beane's best work as Bills GM

Buffalo Bills Mandatory Minicamp
Buffalo Bills Mandatory Minicamp / Bryan Bennett/GettyImages

On May 9, 2017, the hiring that came with the Sean McDermott package was former assistant general manager of the Carolina Panthers, Brandon Beane. Doug Whaley was the former GM of the Buffalo Bills since 2013. He hadn't done the best work in the draft process, with the most successful players drafted being Robert Woods, Sammy Watkins, and Preston Brown.

Since Beane's hiring, he's been involved in drafting Pro Bowl players and helping build the Buffalo Bills' culture, making them competitive again for the first time in almost two decades. However, some fans feel a bit indifferent towards Beane and his decision-making process, especially during this past offseason. However, if anything, this is the best work that Beane has done during the offseason overall, given the circumstances.

Took care of the Buffalo Bills' salary cap issues

After the 2023 season, the Buffalo Bills had salary cap issues and were $40 million over the cap. When the offseason kicked in, Beane went to work, restructuring the contracts for Josh Allen, Von Miller, and Rasul Douglas, freeing up almost $30 million of cap space. Thankfully, the $10 million of additional cap space provided by the NFL helped the Bills. However, that didn't save some of the players who were let go.

Beane had the tough decision to release Tre'Davious White, who most Bills fans expected to be released due to past injuries. That decision freed up over $10 million of the cap (post-June 1st). Yet the release of Jordan Poyer and Mitch Morse caught some Bills fans off-guard, as they still had another year on their contracts.

The decision that caught everyone's attention was trading Stefon Diggs. This decision is viewed as either a business or personal, but it freed up cap space for the future and gave the Bills more draft capital. With Diggs and Gabe Davis off the roster, the Bills' receiver position was a concern.

Beane addressed the roster weaknesses

Beane prepared for the release of Diggs, as he would sign veteran receivers like Curtis Samuel and Mack Hollins, who aren't as talented as Diggs but are good compliments for the receiver they were preparing to draft. The Keon Coleman selection was a great value pick and a great pick that fits the team, as Coleman has tremendous athletic talent with solid hands and a big 6'4 ft frame.

Beane resigned Taylor Rapp to a three-year deal and signed veteran Safety Mike Edwards to a one-year contract to address the absence of Poyer and Micah Hyde (whose situation is still unknown). Beane added some insurance to the safety position by drafting Cole Bishop in the second. 

Surprisingly, the cornerback position was not addressed, but it isn't that much of a weakness, as Rasul Douglas proved to be worth the trade last season, Christian Benford proved to be a solid number two, and Taron Johnson is still on top of his game. This isn't even mentioning Kaiir Elam, who will be healthy this upcoming season and will have another chance to prove his worth. 

The defensive line has been good, not great, but it wasn't an area of concern. However, Beane still wanted to beef up the line with some rookies in DeWayne Carter and a fifth-round sleeper in Javon Soloman. One thing is for sure: the Defensive Line has a lot of depth and could surprise opponents with how effective they will be in this upcoming season.

Overall, the team was in a challenging situation, arguably the toughest since Beane got hired. However, Beane did what he could to give the Bills the best chance to remain at their full potential for the 2024 season. Beane knows the team can't afford to take seasons off while Allen is still in his prime.

This roster may still have some weaknesses, but many are less notable than before the start of the offseason. Many fans look forward to seeing how this team performs in the future, and Beane is to thank for that.