He may not always be the most politically correct figure in the NFL, but Buffalo Bills general manager Brandon Beane is at least often available for insights that are always valuable.
For those reasons, he was named the latest winner of the Jack Horrigan award, presented by the Pro Football Writers of America.
The Horrigan award is presented each year to the league or club official for his or her qualities and professional style in helping the pro football writers do their jobs.
Jack Horrigan was a sports writer for UPI and the Buffalo Evening News, public relations director for the American Football League (1963-66) and vice president of public relations for the Buffalo Bills (1966-73).
This year's other nomineees were Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, NFL vice president of communications Brian McCarthy, NFL chief medical officer Dr. Allen Sills, NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith and NFL executive vice president of football operations Troy Vincent.
“Since becoming the Bills’ general manager in 2017, Beane has routinely made himself available to reporters in both good and difficult times,” said Matthew Fairburn, Bills beat writer for The Athletic and the Buffalo PFWA chapter president. “He is genuinely interested in explaining the team’s roster-building process and organizational philosophies. He doesn’t shy away from questions or story ideas that will shed light on why the team does what it does. When something significant happens with the team, Beane understands the importance of taking questions and is proactive about doing so. Even in the Zoom era, Beane has made sure to let news conferences continue until he’s answered every question.
"He doesn’t take tough questions personally and makes an effort to have a cordial and professional relationship with everyone who covers the team regularly. His candor and professionalism extend beyond those in Buffalo, too. Beane has made the Bills a more transparent organization, and the stories of the Bills’ turnaround have been richer and more insightful because of his give and take with reporters.”
Beane was criticized by the NFLPA for admitting earlier this year that he'd consider cutting an unvaccinated player over a player vaccinated against COVID-19 if everything else was even. The league responded by informing him that's not allowed.
"My comment was a hypothetical," Beane clarified during OTAs last week. "Again, I spoke to the union, spoke to the league, and we all got on the same page on that. It wasn't -- I think it got blown out as far as me cutting players that weren't vaccinated. That was not the gist of what I said, but it is what it is.
"... My job is to find competitive advantages for our team, and it was really from that context."
Beane also was named the PFWA's Executive of the Year in January, after the Bills went 13-3 to capture the AFC East title.