Bills prez says GM Whaley sets player negotiation values, not contract negotiator Overdorf

In a telephone interview on Wednesday, Buffalo Bills president and CEO Russ Brandon wished to correct an impression spreading on the interwebs that senior vice-president of football administration, Jim Overdorf, has more say than rookie GM Doug Whaley in contract negotiations with players — even though Overdorf handles all such negotiations.

“Let me be real clear about something,” Brandon said. “Doug Whaley is responsible for the 53-man roster, and the composite of that roster as the general manager. He is responsible for setting the value on every player within that roster, and the ceiling on any negotiation that we may have, based on his judgments.

“Jim Overdorf is the lead negotiator on any and all contracts with his negotiating team, and reports to Doug on anything relative to those negotiations.

“Every NFL team has a lead negotiator, and quite frankly our general manager is responsible for player acquisitions and player personnel. It’s not to sit behind a desk and negotiate contracts. Very, very few NFL teams have the GM do the negotiating, as far as I understand.”

What’s more, Brandon said Whaley has “the entire salary cap at his disposal. It’s $133 million … How he deploys it is his responsibility. Obviously we talk about it, but if he wanted to put every single dime into a certain player and not do anything else, then that’s what we would do.

“Make no mistake: the values, the roster, the deployment are all his responsibilities.”

 

Re-signing Williams unconnected to Byrd talks: Brandon

Just because the Buffalo Bills gave safety Aaron Williams a contract extension on Wednesday — reportedly worth $26 million over four years — don’t think that means they’re not still trying to re-sign Pro Bowler Jairus Byrd.

“No not at all,” Bills president and CEO Russ Brandon said in a telephone interview. “That’s a completely independent vertical of our negotiations.

“We continue on-going negotiations and discussions with JB’s agent, and we’re going to continue to work and see if we can strike a deal.”

Williams converted from cornerback, where he often struggled in his first two NFL seasons, to safety last year. He flourished, and even played one game at cornerback because of injuries at that position. Then Bills defensive coordinator Mike Pettine in November raved about Williams.

“He is SO competitive,” Pettine said in an interview. “He hates it in practice when he gets a ball caught on him. You can tell he really cares. And when things don’t go well for him, he gets visibly upset … But you needs guys like that. The other guys feed off that energy.”

Williams told reporters he accepts “the role of leading this defence to where it used to be.”

 

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