New Bills HC Sean McDermott confirmed during his introductory press conference on Friday that GM Doug Whaley is in control of the team’s 53-man roster.
“Doug has control of the 53,” McDermott said, via ESPN.com. “We’ve talked, and going though the process with the Pegulas, I’m very comfortable with the situation. I wouldn’t take this job if I wasn’t comfortable with the situation. Terry and Kim made sure of that. And I appreciate that.”
Bills owner Terry Pegula told WGR 550 Friday that the team’s organizational structure is a collaborative setup.
“I told him the GM and the coach work together,” Pegula said. “Obviously, Doug is sitting in the room with him while he’s interviewing. So [McDermott] knows, if he’s hired by this GM, this GM, I like him. It’s not like we’re bringing a new GM in and hiring [McDermott] as a coach first. This GM, coach working together, they both answer to the owners.”
Adam Schefter reports that the Bills did not make any dramatic changes to their structure when they hired Sean McDermott as head coach in recent days.
League sources have told Schefter that Bills GM Doug Whaley still has the final say over the 53-man roster, while McDermott will determine the active game-day roster. Schefter’s source added that McDermott will report directly to owner Terry Pegula.
A few reports surfaced that the Bills may be willing to give their next head coach control of the 53-man roster. However, it appears as though that wasn’t entirely accurate, as Whaley will get to call the shots in terms of personnel matters for the team moving forward.
Whaley managed to survive the firing of HC Rex Ryan during the season, despite the fact that some around the NFL reportedly felt as though he was just s responsible for the Bills’ struggles as Ryan was.
Whaley, 44, was hired as the Bills’ general manager back in 2013 after he spent 10 years working for the Steelers. Since taking the Bills’ job, Whaley’s teams have produced a record of 30-33 (47.6 percent) and have just one winning season and no playoff appearances over the course of four years.