Buffalo Bills general manager Doug Whaley has been given a contract extension by team owner Terry Pagula, and that surprises several people within the league, according to NFL.com
While with the Pittsburgh Steelers, Doug Whaley and his tremendous scouting abilities helped find defensive stars such as Troy Polamalu, Lamarr Woodley, and Lawrence Timmons.
Then Buffalo Bills general manager Buddy Nix really wanted Doug Whaley to join his staff because he knew that the team needed a major upgrade on the defensive side of the ball.
When Buddy Nix decided to transition from the general manager position, Doug Whaley was the obvious choice, as many long felt that he was being groomed to be the successor to Nix.
Since taking over in 2013, Doug Whaley hasn’t exactly surpassed expectations. The Buffalo Bills own a 23-25 record during that time frame. Not a single AFC East title was won, either.
Last year, Doug Whaley took a gamble on Rex Ryan, who was fired by the New York Jets after failing to deliver a Super Bowl appearance, in hopes that he would be the right coach.
The hiring of Rex Ryan has been received with mixed reactions thus far, as the Buffalo Bills failed to make it to the NFL Playoffs and garnered an 8-8 record after a promising season.
Doug Whaley is going to be judged more for the players that he acquired for the Buffalo Bills more so than what Rex Ryan does as the head coach. Whaley hasn’t drafted phenomenally.
In 2013, Doug Whaley attempted to upgrade the Buffalo Bills passing game by selecting EJ Manuel, who was supposed to have been the franchise quarterback. He lost his starting job.
The Buffalo Bills were able to find a starting tight end in the draft with Chris Gragg, but wide receivers Robert Woods and Marquise Goodwin are unfortunately no longer with the team.
Duke Williams and Jonathan Meeks still provide valuable depth in the secondary, but Kiko Alonzo, who has shown a lot of promise despite being injured, was traded away last year.
Sammy Watkins has been a gem thus far. The former Clemson Tigers wide receiver has averaged 1,000 yards over his first two seasons. Watkins already has 15 career touchdowns.
In 2014, Doug Whaley tried to boost the offensive line. Cyril Richardson and Seantrel Henderson are no longer with the team. Cyrus Kouandjio wasn’t able to win a starting spot.
Defensively that year, Doug Whaley found a starting linebacker in Preston Brown, but Ross Cockrell and Randell Johnson were unable to become contributors for the Buffalo Bills.
In 2015, Doug Whaley found a starting cornerback in Ronald Darby, but he isn’t really known as a shutdown type. During his rookie season, he managed to only grab two interceptions.
Offensively, John Miller is now the starting right guard and Karlos Williams provides depth at running back, but neither guy is a game changer at this point in their respective careers.
Doug Whaley was given some credit when he took a gamble on signing troubled wide receiver Percy Harvin, but that move cannot really be judged because Harvin suffered an injury.
LeSean McCoy has been a welcome addition to the Buffalo Bills at the running back position, but this was more about Chip Kelly wanting to get rid of a player he did not like.
Doug Whaley should not receive a lot of credit for signing Marcell Dareus to a contract extension, as most NFL executives would have also kept the dominant defensive tackle around.
While Doug Whaley was far from being a horrible general manager, many believed that the Buffalo Bills would have attempted to hire someone with a longer and better resume.
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