Buffalo Bills general manager Brandon Beane has been named the NFL Executive of the Year by both The Sporting News and the Pro Football Writers of America. Since the Associated Press doesn’t vote on the award, the PFWA is traditionally considered the official version of the award.
Beane has masterfully built the Bills’ roster, but the cherry on top of the proverbial sundae was the addition of wide receiver Stefon Diggs this past offseason, which unlocked Buffalo’s offense. Diggs led the league in yards and receptions after Beane sent a first-round pick and a fourth-round pick to the Minnesota Vikings. The presence of Diggs allowed Josh Allen to flourish in his third NFL season.
Known as a scout before working his way up the ranks with the Carolina Panthers, Beane has also proven adept at drafting. His first draft choice was QB Josh Allen, who has emerged as a legitimate MVP candidate in this third season followed by a big trade up for linebacker Tremaine Edmunds. DT Harrison Phillips has been a solid contributor while CB Taron Johnson had two huge pick-sixes for the Bills in 2020, propelling them to the AFC Championship Game. In 2019, he added DT Ed Oliver, RB Devin Singletary, and TE Dawson Knox. With 2020 still fresh, he found contributors in DE A.J. Epenesa, RB Zack Moss, WR Gabriel Davis, and K Tyler Bass, who set the team record for points scored in a season in his rookie year.
He’s found considerable gold in free-agent signings, as well, getting solid years from C Mitch Morse, OG Jon Feliciano, RT Ty Nsekhe, WR Cole Beasley, WR John Brown, TE Lee Smith, DE Mario Addison, and OT Daryl Williams among others. Whether it’s diamonds in the rough or guys who were overlooked in their previous stops, his plug-and-go free-agent signings have had an undeniable impact on the organization.
The award is well deserved, as was the contract extension he signed earlier this season. CONGRATS, BRANDON!
Bills GM Bill Polian won the award from The Sporting News in 1991 and 1988. The PFWA award was not given out prior to 1993.