Bills GM Defends Draft Night Trade With Rival Chiefs

Brandon Beane defended his decision to trade back in last night's draft, allowing Kansas City to nab one of the top receiver prospects remaining.
Josh Allen and Patrick Mahomes
Josh Allen and Patrick Mahomes / Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports
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The first round of the 2024 NFL draft was filled with a few big surprises that started with the Atlanta Falcons taking Michael Penix Jr. with the No. 8 pick. That shocker was bookended by the Buffalo Bills trading back at No. 28 with the Kansas City Chiefs, allowing KC to take the fastest wideout in the draft in Xavier Worthy.

It's always tough for fans to accept that their favorite team will sometimes do business with a hated postseason rival. This was an even more controversial decision, however, because the Bills also needed a wide receiver. By executing a trade with the team that has knocked them out of the playoffs three times in the last four years, the Bills allowed a top prospect at a position of need to be taken off the board. A tough double whammy to swallow for the fanbase.

General manager Brandon Beane spoke to the media and defended his decision-making, saying he didn't worry about who the Chiefs were picking and emphasized the value of additional draft picks. Per Matt Parrino of Newyorkupstate.com:

“I could see them taking a receiver but you don’t truly know. ... But where they were moving from, I don’t think it mattered to us who they were picking,” Beane said. “Now we’ve got the two 2s, a 3, a 4 and four 5s. I think that gives us a chance to fill some roles or use ammo to move around again, depending on how the board falls.”

On the one hand, this is exactly what Bills fans should want. Yes, wide receiver is a massive position of need and failing to address it with an elite first round talent feels like a waste of Josh Allen's massive potential. But the NFL draft community has hammered home, time and time again, that over-drafting a player to try and patch holes in the roster is not a successful team-building strategy. If Buffalo didn't feel like any remaining receiver was worthy of a first round selection then trading back to acquire more picks was the only right move. It does not matter who the trade was with.

On the other hand... Allen really needs a receiver and could have done wonders with Worthy's speed given he boasts the strongest arm in the NFL. To pass on that opportunity is one thing, but to do so in a manner that then gives Worthy's speed to Andy Reid and Patrick Mahomes feels like playing with fire.

It may be an irrational thought process. If the Bills stayed put or traded with someone else there is a very strong possibility the Chiefs land Worthy anyway. Buffalo might as well play ball if it results in more assets to play with. Beane's logic as laid out is sound. Nevertheless, it does feel like the sort of thing that comes back to bite the Buffalo Bills.

All will be forgotten for now if Beane can manipulate the draft on Friday night to land the Bills the prospects they desire in the second and third round. He has a lot of ammo, and a lot of pressure on him, to do so.


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Liam McKeone

LIAM MCKEONE

Liam McKeone is a Senior Writer for the Breaking & Trending News Team at Sports Illustrated. In addition to his role as a writer, he collaborates with other teams across Minute Media to help define his team’s content strategy. He has been in the industry as a content creator since 2017, and prior to joining SI in 2024, Liam worked for NBC Sports Boston and The Big Lead. In addition to his work as a writer, he has hosted the Press Pass Podcast covering sports media and The Big Stream covering pop culture. A graduate of Fordham University, Liam is always up for a good debate and enjoys loudly arguing about sports, rap music, books, and video games. Liam has been a member of the National Sports Media Association (NSMA) since 2020.