Allow me, for just a moment, to preface this by saying that I am generally a fan of Nix. I believe he is a good, old school talent evaluator. He has brought in some solid players and he has added talent during his tenure. However, recent events have lead me to one conclusion: Nix needs to be nixed.
During the press conference to announce Brandon's promotion, Nix took to the mic at the end to discuss a few points. One of the many questions asked to Nix regarded whether or not he has lost any power. Time after time Brandon assured the reporters that Nix remains in control of Football operations for our Bills. However, the fact of the matter is, ever since the changing of the guard at the top of the Bills organization, Nix has increasingly seemed like the odd man out.
Throughout the head coaching search, Nix has acted as part of a trio. This is a departure from his search that led to Chan Gailey, Nix was the one conducting the interviews, he was the one that had to sell the Bills to the candidates. God bless him, he tried. Theoretically, Chan's failure should also be looked at as Nix's failure. This has clearly affected Nix's position in the Bills organization, he is no longer the only voice in the room.
The Bills will probably sell Nix as still having final say on Football matters, however he clearly has lost some power. For more evidence of this, fans need only look at the hiring of Doug Marrone.
The hiring of the former Syracuse Head Coach is a stark reversal of the first time Nix was searching for a head coach. Throughout the coach search in 2010, Nix was vehement in the fact that he wanted a coach who has done it before. This is a common theme to most of the personnel that Nix brings in, often drafting players who have performed throughout their college career, rather than the one-year wonders. Doug Marrone, while having NFL experience, is decidedly a non-Nix style hire. Instead the hire has Whaley's and Brandon's fingerprints all over it.
This all adds up to the fact that Nix has truly become the odd man out at the top of the Bills organization, a very poor position for a General Manager to be in. As he is a step below lame-duck status, the reasons Nix is staying on as GM are foggy.
The Bills are younger, this much is clear. Mike Catalana, the Bills preseason sideline reporter, calculated that when Nix inevitably steps down the Bills will be 91 years younger at the top of the organization. Also, as the press conference further demonstrated when Nix was asked his opinion on analytics (he didn't have one), the generational gap between Nix and everyone else is only going to grow.
So while the theory is that Nix will wait until after the draft to retire, the question remains, why should he? With the youth movement at full bore, the time for Nix to retire is sooner, rather than later.