Doug Whaley's tenure as general manager of the Buffalo Bills will continue after the two sides agreed to a new deal on Sunday.
Kim Pegula, co-owner of the Bills, announced the deal on her Twitter account:
Kim Pegula @KimPegula
We have agreed to a contract extension with Doug Whaley! https://t.co/kJUv7VGM7Q1/10/2016, 8:58:17 PM
On Jan. 5, Jeremy White of WGR 550 in Buffalo first reported an extension was being finalized. Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reported the sides agreed on a "multiyear deal," adding it was "long-term, not a one-year Band-Aid."
Whaley commented on the situation in a team release:
The only thing that I expect to do is every day come in here and try to get better. I just know that every day I’ve come in here I’ve gotten positive feedback from the Pegulas. I love working with [head coach Rex Ryan], I love working with this whole staff. I think our personnel staff has done a very good job in acquiring players.
I’m excited with what we bring to the table and I'll just keep doing my job. The first thing I was taught in this business is keep your nose down, work hard, and do whatever it takes to help your team win. Everything else takes care of itself.
Whaley took over as Bills GM in May 2013 after Buddy Nix stepped down. Even though the Bills haven't made the postseason in his first three years, they've posted back-to-back .500 seasons for the first time since 1999-2000.
However, that modest success will not guarantee him long-term job security. Vic Carucci of the Buffalo News reported Bills owner Terry Pegula will give Whaley and Ryan one more year to end the team's 17-year playoff drought:
A team source told The News that Pegula met with Whaley and Ryan about a week ago, prior to the end of the season, to review the season up to that point and look ahead.
During the meeting, the source said, Pegula gave Whaley and Ryan an ultimatum: make the necessary fixes to get the team into the playoffs in the 2016 season or be fired.
The Bills were one of the NFL's biggest disappointments in 2015. They were coming off a nine-win season in 2014 with a defense that finished fourth in yards and points allowed.
With Ryan, who comes from a defensive background, taking over a talented defense that Whaley helped build through the draft, expectations were understandably high for the Bills in 2015. They battled inconsistency on defense all year, finishing 19th overall, en route to an 8-8 finish.
Although the Bills took a step back in 2015, they still boast most of the talent on defense that made them a breakout pick. Offensive playmakers like LeSean McCoy and Sammy Watkins, whom Whaley brought in, give them upside on that side of the ball.
There is still work for Whaley to do to piece an entire roster together that can compete with the New England Patriots for AFC East titles, but he's developed a great foundation through smart drafting and shrewd trades.
Pegula clearly thinks highly of Whaley and has done well to put the franchise in his hands. That partnership will be vital to making the Bills successful moving forward, so this extension is an investment in where they believe things are heading after positive results thus far.
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