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Bills brain trust keeping an eye on the XFL

Don’t be surprised to see ex-XFLers at training camp

New York Guardians v St. Louis BattleHawks Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/XFL via Getty Images

Buffalo Bills general manager Brandon Beane and head coach Sean McDermott spoke to the Buffalo sports media personnel at the 2020 NFL Combine. During their respective scrums, each was asked about the XFL and whether or not it was a place they are keeping an eye on to fill out the roster.

Beane was emphatic.

“Anything that’s football, we’re going to check it out,” said Beane, ticking off the names of the league. “CFL, XFL, we were watching the AAF. I think it’s good. I love these other leagues. We don’t have a minor league system like some of the other professional leagues do, so for us, it’s another chance for some guys to play football. You can run guys around and work guys out, but this is true simulation. Helmets on, pads on, playing the game.”

McDermott echoed Beane’s openness to the upstart league.

“Absolutely. We look everywhere to help improve our football team, improve the competition, make us better,” said McDermott. “Whether that’s the XFL or any league for that matter, or just looking again at free agency or other players that have been released from other teams. As you guys know, we’ve looked a couple of those as well. That’s in an effort to improve our football team. That’s again, to me, us being responsible and doing our due diligence to broaden our scope of what’s out there to improve our football team.”

The NFL’s lack of a minor league has been a topic of conversation for some for several years. 2019’s failed experiment of the Alliance of American Football created healthy skepticism about the potential. The XFL is showing surprising staying power in buzz, fan attendance, and quality of play. It’s no surprise that general managers and head coaches are plugged in to find guys who deserve a second shot at their football dreams.

You can follow me on Twitter @NickBat and look for episodes of “The Nick & Nolan Show” podcast on the Buffalo Rumblings podcast network.