Buffalo Bills general manager Brandon Beane is fully aware of the outside perception of his team not being an ideal destination for free agents.
And he clearly was having none of that narrative during a Thursday news conference.
“That pissed me off to be candid because it was an ignorant comment or whatever,” Beane said. “And I’m not on social media but if you live in Buffalo or you know anything about Buffalo, don’t speak about Buffalo if you don’t know what this city, what this fan base is like. It really pissed me off. Because it’s not true and when you talk to players, how many guys flowed through here today? Eight, nine, whatever and we could’ve had more.
“We didn’t have that narrative. It started with a bad rumor on the whole Antonio Brown thing. People looking for reasons and they didn’t have all the facts. People that have been here, I can’t tell you how many players commented ‘This is amazing. This is awesome. What a facility. What a place. What a culture.’ All that stuff that we have going here. We love it. All I’m gonna say is anybody that says that doesn’t know Buffalo and really is just speaking out of ignorance.”
Beane took issue with what he categorized as a “bad rumor” surrounding the potential trade for wide receiver Antonio Brown, which drew speculative reports the transaction fell apart because Brown wouldn’t commit to showing up in Buffalo.
The Bills recovered quickly from the Brown fallout, though, and made a splash in free agency with numerous signings. The loot included center Mitch Morse, running back Frank Gore, wide receivers Cole Beasley and John Brown, offensive tackle Ty Nsekhe, cornerback Kevin Johnson and wide receiver/returner Andre Roberts, who made the Pro Bowl the past season.
Each signing provided an immediate infusion of talent to the Bills‘ roster, and the transactions showed that free agents will come to Buffalo.
“How many [free-agent signings] flowed through here today?” Beane said. “I can’t tell you how many players commented, ‘This is amazing. This is awesome. What a facility. What a culture.’ This city, we love it. Anybody that says that doesn’t know Buffalo and really is speaking out of ignorance.”
Gathering talent looks great on paper and whether it works out on the field remains to be seen, of course.