In an expected move, the Buffalo Bills promoted assistant General Manager Doug Whaley on Thursday to be the next GM of the team, replacing Buddy Nix, who stepped down earlier in May.
Whaley signed a long-term contract with the team in February, one month after playing a pivotal role in the hiring of Bills head coach Doug Marrone, according to AP Sports writer John Wawrow. Whaley was also instrumental in the scouting process that resulted in Buffalo selecting Florida State quarterback E.J. Manuel in the first round of last month's draft.
Team president Russ Brandon said Whaley will be the man to lead the Bills into the future and make them a team fans can take pride in:
"Doug is a passionate and committed leader, who will work tirelessly with his department to build a team our fans and all of western New York will be proud of heading into the future."
According to Wawrow, one of Whaley's top priorities is to re-sign safety Jairus Byrd. The Bills placed a franchise tag on him during the offseason but he is holding out for a long-term deal. Whaley becomes the team's fifth GM since John Butler was let go in 2000, and the first minority to fill a general manager or coaching position this offseason. He is the Bills' first black GM and the eighth in league history.