The Buffalo Bills rumor mill has been churning full steam since the surprise departure of head coach Doug Marrone, with a new report that he vehemently opposed the team’s blockbuster trade last year.
The Bills made a big move on draft day 2014, moving up from No. 9 to No. 4 so they could land wide receiver Sammy Watkins. In exchange the Bills shipped their 2015 first-round pick to the Cleveland Browns, which Marrone apparently thought was too much.
ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that Marrone stormed out of the Buffalo Bills draft room after the team pulled off the trade.
The deal looks much shakier in retrospect. While the Bills management believed Watkins could help get them over the hump and into the playoffs for the first time in 14 years, the team ended up one game shy of the postseason at 9-7. And though Watkins had a strong year, finishing just under 1,000 yards receiving, several other rookie wide receivers had stronger seasons, including many that would have been available at the No. 9 pick.
Doug Marrone chose to exercise an opt-out clause the Bills put into his contract in 2013, back when the Bills were bidding with the Browns to land Marrone and were looking to gain an advantage.
Since his departure, a number of rumors have emerged about Marrone’s stand-offish style, with many in the organization saying he burned bridges and treated the team’s lesser employees with disdain.
SBNation had more details of the strained relationship between Marrone and the Buffalo Bills.
“One report from Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports said Marrone got in a public shouting match with Bills’ director of player personnel Jim Monos and team president Russ Brandon, in addition to a report that his relationship with general manager Doug Whaley was ‘beyond repair.‘”
With Doug Marrone gone from the Buffalo Bills, the team is moving full speed ahead with finding its next coach. The team has lined up interviews with a number of candidates, including Denver Broncos offensive coordinator Adam Gase. The team’s defensive coordinator, Jim Schwartz, is also a candidate.