Skip to primary navigation Skip to main content

Looking back: Buddy Nix's five biggest hits as Bills GM

Ralph Wilson, C.J. Spiller, Buddy Nix and Chan Gailey
You can argue whether the Bills should have drafted a running back with the ninth overall pick in 2010, but you can't dispute Nix selected a good one in C.J. Spiller. (James P. McCoy/News file photo)

By Tim Graham

How will we remember Buddy Nix's tenure as Buffalo Bills general manager? With the help of beat reporter Mark Gaughan, we look back on the past three seasons and four drafts under Nix.

Here are his five biggest hits:

1) Success with first-round draft picks. You can argue whether the Bills should have drafted a running back with the ninth overall pick in 2010, but you can't dispute Nix selected a good one in C.J. Spiller. He also drafted opening-day starters Marcell Dareus and Stephon Gilmore.

2) Spending big money. Ralph Wilson trusted Nix to acquire big-ticket free agents, and Nix shocked the football community by nabbing star pass-rusher Mario Williams last year.

3) Trolling the waiver wire. Nix swung and missed on Shawne Merriman, but he was adept at collecting other teams' castoffs and turning them into starters. The list includes offensive linemen Kraig Urbik, Chad Rinehart and Erik Pears and tight end Scott Chandler.

4) Dumping Aaron Maybin. It takes guts to jettison an 11th overall pick two years after he was drafted. And it was the right move.

5) Stability. The Bills' record hasn't improved, but Nix did provide credibility for a front office that had been reeling since Wilson fired Tom Donahoe. The stunt to bring back Marv Levy as GM was a joke, and Russ Brandon's stint as GM was just as silly.

Honorable mention: Success with undrafted rookies such as receivers David Nelson and Donald Jones; signing linebacker Nick Barnett; trading receiver Lee Evans for a fourth-round pick; delivering colorful, folksy quotes that endeared him to reporters and the fans.


Tim Graham's list of the top 5 Buddy Nix 'misses' as GM | Video: Graham & Mark Gaughan on Nix's resignation, legacy | Video: Highlights from Nix's news conference | Photo gallery: Nix through the years | Nix's written statement | Jay Skurski's profile of Doug Whaley


Aaron Maybin | Buddy Nix | C.J. Spiller | Chad Rinehart | David Nelson | Donald Jones | Erik Pears | Kraig Urbik | Lee Evans | Marcell Dareus | Mario Williams | Marv Levy | Scott Chandler | Stephon Gilmore
comments powered by Disqus

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 |