The Buffalo Bills have signed assistant GM Doug Whaley to an extension that will likely leave him the man in charge whenever Buddy Nix decides to retire.
The extension does nothing but confirm what everyone has suspected for years: that Doug Whaley is the heir apparent to manage the roster. Whaley was thought to be a candidate for various other openings around the league around this time last year, but the Bills were able to retain him on what was likely a promise of the reins of the team. Also, while Buddy remains the final decision maker, and there is no timetable for the transition, the day seems to be sooner rather than later; perhaps after this draft or the next. Buddy is 73 and near the end of his career, and it is unlikely that Whaley would turn down management opportunities with other teams if he didn’t have some sort of indication from the Buffalo Bills that it won’t be long.
It’s somewhat difficult to get an exact gauge of Whaley’s performance, but from what we have seen of his work so far, it feels like a good move. Whaley came over from the Steelers in 2010 to run the pro scouting department for the Bills. In that time, the team was able to find waiver wire gems such as Kraig Urbik and Scott Chandler. Since than, Whaley’s role with the team has steadily grown to the point where his job is to organize and lead the entire evaluation process in order to present Nix with clear information when a decision is to be made.
Whaley seems to be good at his job, and it is reassuring that Buffalo is no longer likely to have him poached. If nothing else, the Bills front office is much more organized than it ever was prior to Nix and Whaley, and the roster is in much better shape, so hopefully retaining Whaley will allow this trend to continue.