clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Rotoworld ranks Buffalo Bills’ Doug Whaley dead last among NFL GMs

There were three new hires this offseason, so Whaley finished 29th of 29.

Rotoworld published their fourth annual rankings of the NFL general managers yesterday, and the ignominy of the bottom spot went to the Buffalo Bills’ own Doug Whaley.

Whaley placed 22nd in the initial rankings in 2014, before finishing 17th in each of the last two editions.

Ranking Whaley at the bottom (which ended up being 29th, since the three new GMs were hired this offseason) means that he’s behind notable GMs like Les Snead of the Rams (28th), Mike Maccagnan of the Jets (27th), and Dave Caldwell of the Jaguars (24th).

Here’s what Rotoworld’s Patrick Daugherty wrote about Whaley:

“The Buffalo News believes it’s “only a matter of time” until Doug Whaley is fired. If true, Whaley won’t be able to claim he didn’t see it coming. Whaley tied one hand behind his back before he was even officially hired, orchestrating the Bills’ doomed selection of E.J. Manuel at No. 16 overall in 2013. Since, he’s trafficked in big names and bold moves, but not enough wins. Whaley has been a bad drafter whose best pick, Sammy Watkins, was made only after a questionable trade up in the deepest receiver class of all time. Even when Whaley makes good moves he has trouble reaping the benefits. Tyrod Taylor was an afterthought stroke of genius in Whaley’s typically expensive 2015 free agent class. Instead of trying to build around Taylor, he sabotaged him, benching him in Week 17 last season for Manuel(!). He lost the argument he never should have started when ownership sided with new coach Sean McDermott on Taylor, retaining him on a restructured contract. Whaley has never lacked for big ideas. It’s a brave way to attack roster building. What we forget about bravery is that it often ends in failure. It appears that’s what the Bills have deemed Whaley.”

Many of Daugherty’s assertions are sensible. However, the idea that Taylor not playing in Week 17 of the 2016 season was part of Whaley sabotaging the quarterback in favor of Manuel is simply off-base.

As we repeatedly wrote this offseason, the Bills decision to bench Taylor for the meaningless season finale against the Jets had likely nothing to do with front office members’ preference at quarterback.

The injury guarantee included in Taylor’s deal was likely the main — if not the only — reason he wasn’t on the field against the Jets to end last season. Had Taylor played and gotten injured, the criticism of Buffalo’s decision-makers would’ve been 100x worse than what they received in the wake of Taylor riding the pine for that contest.

Daugherty is spot on regarding the Watkins situation -- by now it seems to be the consensus that the Bills added a high-quality talent in Watkins, yet the trade up for him was far from a shrewd idea.

Regarding Manuel — he was undoubtedly a whiffed, bust of a pick. But rarely is it mentioned that Buddy Nix, Whaley — a key member of the Bills front office during the 2013 draft — and Co. netted Kiko Alonso (then LeSean McCoy), Marquise Goodwin, and Chris Gragg in a trade down from No. 8 overall to No. 16 overall before the bad Manuel selection.

After a draft in which Round 1 pick Shaq Lawson missed six games with a shoulder injury, and Round 2 pick Reggie Ragland missed the entire season with a knee-ligament tear, it’s totally logical for Buffalo’s 2016 draft class to be out of sight, out of mind.

Regardless of what you think about Whaley, Daugherty is correct in his assessment that Buffalo hasn’t won enough during the GM’s tenure. Then again, the Bills haven’t been a disaster.

They’re 24-24 since the start of the 2014 but have lost one more game than the previous year in each of the last three seasons.

What say you?

Do you think Whaley is the worst (returning) GM in the entire NFL?