In a piece published August 29 by senior writer Ben Standig for The Athletic, Buffalo Bills general manager Brandon Beane received significant praise and accolades among a diverse group of 26 certified agents. The survey, conducted between July 18 and August 7, was distributed to agents who anonymously voted on and vented about some of the NFL’s hottest topics. In addition to hot-button topics—such as The Cleveland Browns and Deshaun Watson, Brian Flores and the Miami Dolphins, and even Lamar Jackson representing himself—these agents spoke with unrestrained candor about the best and most trustworthy GMs. The annual survey provides an unfiltered light on views many agents hold towards some of the NFL’s biggest names and stories.
Top talent evaluators
Among general managers and front-office leaders who are the best talent evaluators, GM Brandon Beane received the second-most votes (four). One agent was anonymously quoted as saying: “‘Looking at the way they’ve improved under his tutelage, I think I’d put him at the top.’”
Malik Boyd, senior director of pro scouting for the Bills, also received a vote in the category of best talent evaluator. Boyd has been with the organization since 2017, when he was hired away from the Arizona Cardinals to become director of pro personnel with Buffalo.
In all, 16 front-office individuals received votes, with Indianapolis Colts GM Chris Ballard logging the most at six votes. Ballard has consistently seen his name at the top, having received the most votes in the category for all four years of the survey.
Additionally, Brandon Beane received the most votes (four) as the most trusted GM/front-office leader. In total, 17 people—from GMs, to pro personnel directors, college scouting coordinators, and head coaches—received votes.
Perhaps most interesting was the one agent who responded “‘No one. The team’s the enemy. They don’t care about us. We don’t care about them.’”