Following the massive Buffalo Bills trade with the Jacksonville Jaguars on Friday night, general manager Brandon Beane spoke with the media via conference call. (Due to the timing of the trade, they didn’t want to bring everyone into One Bills Drive.) Head coach Sean McDermott won’t meet the media until after Sunday’s game.
Here is what Beane had to say, edited for brevity and readability, removing questions about Anquan Boldin.
Q: Just, kind of take us through the process of the deal.
A: Jacksonville reached out to us today and we thought about it and talked it through as an organization and decided it was a good move for the Bills and a good move for Marcell [Dareus].
Q: Just from the salary perspective, the huge dollars that you are able to move out, how much does that factor into the thinking and your big picture, long-term planning?
A: Every decision from a roster standpoint you make, definitely you have to consider what it does to your cap immediately and what it does in future years, so I’d be lying if I didn’t say that was not in the equation.
Q: There have been questions all offseason long and going into the season about whether Marcell Dareus was a long-term fit on this team. What prompted this trade in your view and has he been, to a certain degree, expendable since before today?
A: Yes. I mean, we did have a couple of talks in the preseason, but nothing came to fruition. I give Marcell a lot of credit. I thought he made huge strides of late, but at the same time, we felt like this was a good move for us going forward, as well [as it] gives him a fresh start.
Q: Does the fact that you sent him home before that Baltimore game, was that a breaking point for you and for the organization?
A: It was very disappointing. It wasn’t a breaking point, but you know, and as I said, it was frustrating for Sean [McDermott] and I and the organization but at the same time we were still trying to work with the young man and honestly, I thought he did make some strides of late.
Q: Did you guys identify Marcell as a guy that maybe didn’t fit the culture you were trying to build when you guys got here to Buffalo?
A: I mean, yeah he was a question mark. When you come in to a new city and you look at the roster, you obviously look at, “Okay, he is a guy that you flag for two reasons: 1. He’s a higher salary guy; B. he had a prior history with the suspensions.” You do want to see those guys, you know, how they fit, and like I said early on, we probably had some struggles but he’s not a bad person. At the end of the day, I wish him the best and I know Sean does and the whole organization does.
Q: Brandon, did you believe you were going to be able to move him during the season? The timing of this was kind of interesting; and the second part of it, was the intention all along for him to be moved on [from] even if it was after the season?
A: To be honest with you, we just take it day by day. I was not calling people about him as the trade deadline approached. I know people suspected maybe we were or weren’t. Quite honestly, had not called anyone. Jacksonville reached out to us and made an inquiry and it kind of went from there. But, we’re evaluating everybody through this whole process. He definitely would’ve been a guy we would’ve talked about after the season [with] how does he fit going forward, but this opportunity came up and again, we thought it was a win for Marcell and obviously for the Bills as well.
Q: I know there were a lot of off the field factors that went into this Dareus trade, but how much also is it you guys and your philosophy of investing that sort of salary cap space in a defensive tackle or how comfortable would you feel with that type of money tied up in that position?
A: It’s really not as much about the position as it is what that player does for you on whatever side of the ball he is. I would never want to sit up here and say that I’ll never pay a guy at this position x number of dollars. I think that’s a tough box to put yourself in.
Q: Do you feel like with this move, the Sammy [Watkins] move, several others, that you and Sean [McDermott] have really put your fingerprints on this roster? I know you’re doing it because it’s best for the Bills, but it feels like you’ve really taken charge and like I said, out your fingerprints all over the organization now.
A: Again, I’ve said it before, Sean and I aren’t in to just getting our guys on this team and getting rid of people who are not. We’re honestly making every decision on what we think helps the Bills today and tomorrow and that’s the reason for the moves that you mentioned.
Q: With moving Marcell Dareus, doesn’t that kind of handicap you for this year with possible roster moves due to that money still being on this year’s cap? I believe it’s maybe nine million for next years cap.
A: Those numbers aren’t exactly right, but we’re still paying him a salary so we’ll get a credit for what he was owed this year for the remainder of the year because that money was guaranteed.