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2019 NFL Draft: Two teams with strong ties to the Buffalo Bills rumored to be interested in trade-up, per report

The Bills might be ready to trade.

The Buffalo Bills hold the No. 9 pick in the first round of the NFL Draft, which starts at 8 p.m. EST Thursday night in Nashville, Tenn.

While there are many directions general manager Brandon Beane and head coach Sean McDermott could go with the first of the team’s ten draft picks, there are two franchises with strong ties to the Bills that have been rumored to be interested in trading up in the first round.

In a story written by Albert Breer of Sports Illustrated and The Monday Morning Quarterback, Breer said he’s heard from sources that the Houston Texans and Carolina Panthers are the two teams he’s heard most often associated with trading up in the draft.

The Bills have ties to both organizations, which could pave the way for a draft-day trade with either Houston or Carolina.

Brian Gaine, the current general manager of the Texans, previously served as vice president of player personnel for the Bills in 2017 before being recruited to take over as GM in January of 2018.

And as every Bills fan knows by now, the Bills-Panthers connection runs deep. McDermott was the Panthers’ defensive coordinator from 2011-2016, orchestrating a top-ten defense every year from 2012-2015.

Beane spent his entire career in Carolina before becoming the general manager of the Bills in May 2017. From 2008-2014, Beane served as the Panthers’ director of football operations before he was promoted to assistant GM for the 2015 and 2016 seasons.

Here’s what Breer had to say about the trade rumors involving the Panthers and Texans:

“Carolina (No. 16) and Houston (No. 23) wouldn’t be going up for quarterbacks. In all likelihood, it’d be a move to get one of the top three tackles. Each has been very present in that market on the scouting trail over the last three months, and the dropoff from the first cluster (Alabama’s Jonah Williams, Florida’s Jawaan Taylor, Washington State’s Andre Dillard) to the second (Alabama State’s Tytus Howard, Ole Miss’ Greg Little) leaves both teams in a bit of a no man’s land, drafting too low for the former and too high for the latter. So both could move up or, failing that, move down,” Breer said.