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Persistence pays off for Bills GM Brandon Beane in personnel acquisitions

If at first you don’t succeed...

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Buffalo Bills v Miami Dolphins Photo by Eric Espada/Getty Images

Never let it be said that Buffalo Bills general Brandon Beane is a quitter. After trading a sixth-round draft choice and former Day Two pick in running back Zack Moss to the Indianapolis Colts for running back Nyheim Hines, Beane has completed yet another one of his long treks to a personnel acquisition.

“He’s a guy that I’ve had my eye on before,” Beane told Pat McAfee on PMS Live this week. “We’ve checked into him just like you check in on guys at different times. A couple summers ago, I believe it was during the COVID summer, I really didn’t feel like we had that piece in the backfield for Josh as an outlet player. And so we looked, and at the time the Colts weren’t interested and we checked back another time. But things change at various times in this league for different reasons, and so this was one of those that we checked into at the last minute before the deadline. I’ve got a lot of respect for (Colts general manager) Chris Ballard and how he does things, and the timing was better for them and for us.”

This isn’t the first time that Beane has gotten his man on the second, third, or even fourth try. When wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders was traded from the Denver Broncos to the San Francisco 49ers in 2019, Sanders’ advisor Derek Bock told The Buffalo News that he thought it was down to the Niners or the Bills. Beane once again tried to sign Sanders as a free agent in 2020, but Sanders chose New Orleans after Buffalo’s trade for Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Stefon Diggs was consummated. The third try was the charm though, and Beane signed Sanders to his final NFL contract with a one-year, $6 million pact in 2021.

Star pass rusher Von Miller was also part of a long game played by Beane. The Athletic reported that before the Bills landed the future Hall of Famer in 2022 as a free agent, Beane had already made three different attempts to acquire him:

Beane recalls the Bills inquiring about Miller’s availability in 2019, but the Broncos were not interested in moving him then. After Paton replaced Elway as general manager, Beane asked about Miller again in early 2021. Paton told him they weren’t looking to trade him. Then, when Miller finally was on the trade block last season, Beane made a third run at him. The Broncos and Rams were a better match, however, and Miller was sent west instead of east.

Just for good measure, there’s another meaningful piece of the current Bills roster that Beane tried to acquire before the eventual transaction bring them to Buffalo: wide receiver Stefon Diggs. The Bills general manager checked in with the Minnesota Vikings at the trade deadline in 2019, but the NFC north team wasn’t willing to move him at that time, so after picking up rumors that the Vikings may have changed their tune during the free agency negotiating period, Beane said the team “checked back in” and that is no longer seemed like a “definitive no”. The deal got done, and the rest is history.

I don’t know if Beane is a fan of Edward Hickson, but I think he would agree with Hickson’s famous proverb:

“If at first you don’t succeed, try, try, try again.”

...and that’s the way the cookie crumbles. I’m Bruce Nolan with Buffalo Rumblings. You can find me on Twitter and Instagram @BruceExclusive and look for new episodes of “The Bruce Exclusive” every Thursday on the Buffalo Rumblings podcast network!