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Whaley Whacked: Bills Fire GM the Morning After NFL Draft

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With a vacant general manager position the search for a new one will begin in earnest for the Bills with owners Terry and Kim Pegula leading the candidate search.

The firing of general manager Doug Whaley had been the subject of much speculation leading up to the 2017 NFL draft. Once the Pegulas made the decision to relieve Whaley of his duties Sunday morning, Buffalo’s ownership made it clear they’re focused on the future.

“Kim and I are going to use every resource we can inside and outside the organization to find the right person,” said Terry Pegula of the impending search for a new general manager. “That’s how we’re going to do it. It’s very simple.”

At a Sunday press conference Pegula confirmed that in addition to Whaley the pro and college scouting departments were also relieved of their duties. That included Director of Player Personnel Jim Monos, Director of Pro Personnel Rob Hanrahan and Player Personnel Advisor Kelvin Fisher, who oversaw much of the college scouting operation.

As the Pegulas seek to hire their first general manager as owners of the Bills, Terry Pegula indicated that the new GM will have many of the same responsibilities of a typical front office boss.

“When we hire a new GM, we’ll talk about obviously his obligations and duties, but Sean is our head coach and the GM is going to be the GM,” he said.

Pegula also stated that the new general manager will take stock and perform a thorough review of the entire football department when the hiring is completed.

With respect to how the power structure of the front office will work moving forward, Pegula stated that the organizational flow on the football side of the organization will be hammered out with GM candidates as they’re interviewed.

“We have to talk to whoever the candidates are and see how it shapes out as we talk to people and make that decision in the future,” said Pegula. “I like collaborative organizations, so the power structure I envision when we hire a new GM is someone who will work in the organization with us as owners and the head coach and make a team that makes us better.”

Pegula said they have yet to have a single conversation internally about potential candidates for the job. They’ve been working to find a new general manager for the Buffalo Sabres after making changes in that front office almost two weeks ago. Pegula did say they’re close to a final answer there.

In the interim while searching for a new Bills general manager the Pegulas will handle personnel decisions presumably with the assistance of Senior VP of Football Administration Jim Overdorf and Director of Football Operations Kevin Meganck.

The Bills owner understands how fans might be discouraged with the team’s upheaval at the coaching and GM positions the last few months, but he hopes they have faith that they are doing what they feel is best for the future success of the organization.

“They have to believe in us as owners, just like we have to try to believe in our players when we put them on the field,” Pegula said. “We’re going to try to make the best decision we can in the future.  We’ve made big decisions all our lives. You strive to get better in everything you do. That’s what we strive to do.”

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