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Bills sign GM heir apparent Doug Whaley to contract extension

By Tim Graham

INDIANAPOLIS -- Over the past few days, Buffalo Bills President Russ Brandon and General Manager Buddy Nix each made vague comments about assistant GM and player-personnel director Doug Whaley sticking around the organization for a long time.

This evening, the Bills announced they've signed Whaley to a contract extension. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Whaley, 40, is considered Nix's heir to the GM office.

"I am happy that we have secured Doug's services into the future," Nix, 73, said in a statement released by the club, "and look forward to a smooth transition of the position when the time comes."

Brandon's prepared comment emphasized Nix remains in control.

"We are very pleased with the structure of our football operation and look forward to working with Buddy, Doug and the entire staff for many years to come," Brandon said. "As we have stated previously, there is no timetable for the transition. Our focus continues to be on building the foundation for a winning program."

At the NFL scouting combine in Lucas Oil Stadium, Whaley on Wednesday described his responsibilities to The Buffalo News.

"I always tell people my job is to make Buddy's job as easy as possible," Whaley said. "I want to go out there and -- for lack of a better term -- be the footsoldier to track down all this information and funnel whatever decision he needs to make."

Whaley joined the Bills' front office in 2010 after 12 years with his hometown Pittsburgh Steelers.

He was a four-year letterman for the Pitt Panthers in the 1990s and became a pro-personnel assistant for the Steelers in 1995 after working as a retail stockbroker for a year. He was in the Seattle Seahawks' scouting department from 1996 to 1998. He returned to the Steelers and eventually served as their pro-scouting coordinator.

Brandon was asked Thursday about a possible transition from Nix to Whaley. Brandon said Whaley is "locked into Buffalo for the foreseeable future."

Whaley's name was bandied about last month as a possible candidate for various GM openings around the NFL.

Nix said Thursday there was no concern Nix could depart for another team.

"Doug's situation hasn't changed," Nix said. "I think you're maybe less than confident in what you do if you can't put your replacement in place. I was on the job three months when I hired Doug.

"Let me tell you this, just in a matter-of-fact way: He's here. He'll be here. So don't worry about the openings."


2013 NFL scouting combine | Buddy Nix | Doug Whaley | Russ Brandon
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About Press Coverage

Tim Graham

Tim Graham

Tim Graham returned to The Buffalo News in 2011 after covering the NFL for three years at ESPN and for one year at the Palm Beach Post. Before that, the Cleveland native spent seven seasons on the Buffalo Sabres beat for The News and was president of the Boxing Writers Association of America.

@ByTimGraham |

Mark Gaughan

Mark Gaughan

Buffalo native Mark Gaughan started working at The News in 1980 and has been covering the Bills exclusively since 1992. He is a former president of the Pro Football Writers of America, and he is a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame selection committee.

@gggaughan |

Jay Skurski

Jay Skurski

Jay Skurski joined The News in January 2009. The Lewiston native attended St. Francis High School before graduating from the University of South Florida. He writes a weekly Fantasy column in addition to his beat writing duties.

@JaySkurski |