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Could Buffalo Bills be restructuring their front office?

They’ve notably omitted the title of “general manager” from their list of interview candidates.

After Doug Whaley was let go from his position as general manager of the Buffalo Bills (as was the rest of the scouting staff), the team needed to rebuild their front office from the ground up.

It’s possible that they might be building something fairly different from what was just torn down.

On the Bills’ official website, team reporter Chris Brown is keeping a running tab of “interview candidates” the team has spoken with so far. As of right now, the only name on the list is Carolina Panthers’ assistant general manager Brandon Beane, who interviewed with the team yesterday.

Nowhere in the piece does it mention the position that Beane is looking to fill. Furthermore, in announcing the interview, the team called Beane a “front office candidate.” Again, the title of the position he interviewed for is conspicuously absent.

Now, this could simply be a case of unintentionally vague wording, and there’s no intention of changing anything aside from the personnel in the front office. Of course, given the seismic shakeup of the front office and the undeniable influence of Sean McDermott on the team’s football operations, it’s likely that the power structure is going to change moving forward.

There does seem to be a similar restructuring going on in Washington, which has yet to replace Scot McCloughan as general manager. A piece in The Washington Post today describes a setup where team president Bruce Allen assumes the normal duties of a general manager while allowing increased influence to a few others in the organization.

That could be the framework for the structure in Buffalo, although placing the head coach at the top of the personnel department would be stretching McDermott pretty thin.

There are two other points to note around this search and the eventual structure. One, which was touched on in the Post article, is the Rooney Rule. The Bills are going to be required to interview at least one minority candidate for a position that is equivalent to a general manager, something that would be hard to define without a title in place. The other is the fact that the Panthers could have blocked Beane from interviewing for the position if it didn’t involve more influence over the team’s roster than he has in Carolina. That would point to his role being something on par with, if not equivalent to, a general manager.

We could be reading too much into this, and things are going to be the same moving forward. Given everything that’s happened with the Bills in 2017, however, it wouldn’t be a surprise if that’s not the case.

Update: Apparently we were reading too much into this.

The front office structure could still change moving forward, but it seems the traditional role of general manager will still be a part of it.