After a pair of reports last weekend suggested just the opposite, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com reports that Bills GM Doug Whaley is “on very solid ground” and that Whaley is more likely to receive an extension than be fired (Twitter link). Rapoport adds (via Twitter) that team ownership supports Whaley, and that the GM and head coach Rex Ryan work well together.
Reports from Vic Carucci of The Buffalo News and Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports last Sunday indicated that owner Terry Pegula had sought outside NFL consultation in an effort to address the problems that his club has faced in recent seasons, and those reports suggested that much of what Pegula heard was unfavorable to Whaley. Furthermore, Carucci and La Canfora suggested that Whaley and the Bills’ coaching staff did not see eye-to-eye, and La Canfora indicated that a “showdown” between Whaley and the team’s coaches could be coming at the end of the season.
Rapoport’s tweets, however, throws some cold water on all of that talk. And although Whaley has made a few missteps–blowing a first-round draft pick on EJ Manuel, for instance–he has also made some notable improvements to the roster during his time in Buffalo. Whaley, who served as the Steelers’ Coordinator of Pro Scouting for 11 years before being hired by the Bills as Assistant GM/Director of Pro Personnel in 2010, assembled a particularly strong rookie class in 2015, a class that has been a bright spot in an otherwise disappointing year. He also has a decent track record in free agency, and even though he should bear some of the blame for the Bills’ failure to qualify for the playoffs this year, he has certainly done enough to earn another chance in 2016. And despite the team’s recent attempts to lure Bill Polian to the front office–along with its continued consultation of Polian–Rapoport’s sources believe Whaley will get that chance.