Brandon Beane, the general manager of the Buffalo Bills, has been plenty willing to make trades during his tenure as the team’s top executive. Not only that, but he has also been unafraid to move on from players acquired via trade when it doesn’t work.
Beane has traded players for draft picks, draft picks for players, and draft picks for draft picks at various times throughout his stint as general manager. In the last calendar year alone, Beane consummated seven different trades. Here they are.
March 14—Traded quarterback Tyrod Taylor to the Cleveland Browns for pick No. 65 in the 2018 NFL Draft; also traded left tackle Cordy Glenn, pick No. 21, and pick No. 158 to the Cincinnati Bengals for picks No. 12 and No. 187
Buffalo made two huge moves on the same day in March, trading away the team’s starting quarterback and starting left tackle for draft capital. The Bills made only one selection with the picks they acquired, staying at No. 187 to select Clemson wide receiver Ray-Ray McCloud III in the sixth round of the draft. The other picks were used in other trades.
April 26—Traded picks No. 12, 53, and 56 in the 2018 NFL Draft to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for picks No. 7 and No. 255; also traded picks No. 22 and 65 to the Baltimore Ravens for picks No. 16 and 154
Beane executed two huge trades in the first round of the draft last year, moving up to select quarterback Josh Allen seventh overall after the trade with Tampa Bay, and then moving up a short time later to grab linebacker Tremaine Edmunds 16th overall. With the fifth-round choice acquired from Baltimore, the Bills selected safety Siran Neal. With the seventh-round choice acquired from Tampa Bay, they drafted wide receiver Austin Proehl.
August 5—Traded an undisclosed future draft pick to the Cleveland Browns for wide receiver Corey Coleman (2020 seventh-round choice, per ESPN)
The Bills recognized early on that they had issues at receiver, and they tried to fix the problem before the season began. Coleman was a former first-round draft pick who was only 24 years old when Beane made the trade. Although it didn’t work out in the end— the Bills released Coleman less than a month after acquiring him—it’s hard to fault Beane for taking a flier on a physically talented player.
September 1—Traded quarterback A.J. McCarron to the Oakland Raiders for a 2019 fifth-round pick
Once McCarron, who had signed a $10 million dollar deal in free agency, didn’t win the starting gig, Beane promptly dealt him for draft capital. This move backfired in the sense that the starting quarterback, Nathan Peterman, was an epic failure in the season opener, prompting the team to quickly turn to the raw rookie Allen as the starter. Without a veteran quarterback to mentor him, Allen struggled mightily in the first half of the season. Obviously, we’ll never know if McCarron would have been a good mentor—or even a willing one—for a young quarterback, but in this move Beane showed his willingness to move on from transactions that he deems unsuccessful.
The Bills dealt a second player that they had signed in the 2018 off-season prior to the end of September when they sent Newhouse to Carolina. Newhouse was brought in to serve as veteran tackle depth, but the team was able to swing him for draft capital while adding another versatile veteran option in Jeremiah Sirles via free agency on the same date.