ASHBURN, Va. -- “He’s going to be a GM,” Bills general manager Brandon Beane said of Joe Schoen two years ago.
Schoen, the Bills assistant general manager, has paid his dues. He's steadily climbed the NFL ladder and is in line to becoming a general manager for the first time in his career.
Schoen has the requisite experience to make the natural jump to a general manager position, that he is expected to be in contention for in Washington and around the NFL.
It's not known exactly at this point if the WFT has officially requested permission to speak to Schoen, but that could be a formality. The Bills are hosting the Baltimore Ravens on Saturday night and an elimination could quickly change that.
READ MORE: WFT GM Profile - Martin Mayhew
Who is Schoen? He's Beane's right-hand man. Beane and coach Ron Rivera are extremely close and talk regularly, per sources. It's been described to us that Beane has assisted Rivera in navigating the murky NFL waters through his first year as a head coach and complete boss of the football operations.
As Joe Buscaglia of The Athletic tells the story, it was Beane who advocated hard for Schoen to get a chance with the Panthers as a paid employee way back in 2001.
Ironically, the person Schoen replaced in a scouting role? Ryan Cowden, who has already interviewed for the Washington GM position.
READ MORE: WFT GM Profile - Ryan Cowden
Schoen worked in Carolina but not with Rivera, who didn't arrive until 2011, when Schoen was already in Miami, hired by Bill Parcells and the Dolphins.
“I was impressed with Joe because he was a sharp guy,” Parcells said in the piece by Buscaglia, “he had a good thought process when it came to evaluating players.”
Schoen climbed the Dolphins ladder from national scout to assistant college director and then director of player personnel before eventually reuniting with Beane in Buffalo to rebuild the Bills.
Before Beane, Schoen (pronounced 'Shane') and coach Sean McDermott arrived, the Bills had not made the playoffs in 17 years. They've now made in three of the last four seasons and seemingly have everything going in the right direction.
Rivera could be intrigued by someone he hasn't actually worked with but who comes with a glowing recommendation from one of Rivera's most trusted confidants. ... Oh and someone who has more positional experience than the candidate he replaced in Charlotte, way back at the start of the century.
CONTINUE READING: BREAKING: WFT GM Search Heating Up - Sports Illustrated