Most importantly, this trio has past connections to Bills head coach Sean McDermott.
It’s not a lock that Buffalo hires any of these three “candidates,” but they have proper experience and have been rumored in some way, shape, or form to be of interest to McDermott.
The Carolina Connections
Brandon Beane, Panthers Assistant GM
Currently serving as the Panthers assistant GM, a role he was promoted into on June 17, 2015, Beane has spent his entire, 20-year career in the NFL with in Carolina Now 40, Beane has had a prominent role in the front office there.
Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports made mention of Beane as a top candidate on Saturday:
Continue to hear a major shake-up of Bills front office is very possible if not probable. Panthers assistant GM Brandon Beane top candidate— Jason La Canfora (@JasonLaCanfora) April 30, 2017
Before his promotion to assistant GM, Beane was Carolina’s Director of Football Operations and had the following responsibilities, from an article on the Panthers website:
“He assisted Gettleman in the evaluation of players at the professional and collegiate levels while holding administrative and scouting responsibilities in both areas. He has worked closely with the football operations staff on the negotiation of player contracts, developing budgets and CBA compliance. Beane has also been responsible for directing portions of the NFL Draft, including executing trades. Beane has played a role in putting together the team's draft board over the past four seasons and participated in the evaluation of collegiate prospects in preparation for the draft.”
In 2012, Beane was Carolina’s interim GM over the final 10 games of the season after GM Marty Hurney was fired.
Beane clearly has strong ties to McDermott, who was with the Panthers from 2011 to 2016.
Don Gregory, Panthers Director of Player Personnel
La Canfora wrote this in a March report on potential front-office changes around the league.
“And I continue to hear that new Bills coach Sean McDermott has growing cache with ownership and that team could be bringing in vice presidents and/or personnel figures with ties to the coach in the near future.
Panthers director of player personnel is someone particularly well thought of who could end up in Buffalo after the draft in one capacity or another.”
That Director of Player Personnel is Don Gregory. He began working in that position for the Panthers in May of 2016 after serving as the team’s Director of College Scouting, a job he took in 2006 after five years as the national scout for the Chiefs. His time in Kansas City came on the tail end of a 20-year stint scouting for several teams around the league.
The Philadelphia Connection
Brett Veach, Chiefs Co-Director of Player Personnel
Joe Banner, who spent a long time as a high-ranking member of the Eagles front office while McDermott was in Philadelphia, tweeted this after the Whaley firing:
name to watch in Buffalo is Brett Veach. Worked with Sean in Philly & is highly respected by Andy Reid & all the Philly people. In KC now— Joe Banner (@JoeBanner13) April 30, 2017
As recently as 2012, Veach was an area scout for the Eagles but reunited with Andy Reid when he was hired in Kansas City in 2013. He started his career as a coaching assistant to Reid in 2007 and held that role until 2009 before becoming a scout. Until the Chiefs hired him in 2013, he was considered a “top” scout for the Eagles, handling the vital Southeast region of the country.
In May of 2015, Veach was promoted to “Co-Director of Player Personnel” along with Mike Borgonzi.
Comparing timelines, Veach was in Philadelphia with McDermott from 2007 to 2010.