(WIVB) – Bills GM Brandon Beane held zoom press conference on Sunday. Beane announced that cornerback E.J. Gaines has opted out of the 2020 season. He also talked about the challenges of no preseason games, difficulties of bringing players in for visits and more. Here are 4 Notable Quotes from Brandon Beane’s press conference:
Q: What’s the biggest hurdle you have to overcome with no preseason games on the schedule?
Beane: That’s a challenge I’ve never been around either, everyday there’s a new challenge. When those games got canceled, it’s frustrating for me and for some of our players. I talked to a few of them who are looking for that chance to prove their worth to make this roster or win a staring spot or a special teams spot. I think Sean has some good ideas, we have to come up with various ways to create competition, situations in games, high-impact, high-pressure moments. As we get closer to the first game and have to cut the roster down, we are going to have to come up with as many ways as we can simulate preseason games.
Q: What does losing Jon Feliciano mean and who will compete at that right guard spot?
Beane: He brings an edge and energy, you see his passion on the field. We have to get on Jon sometimes because it spilled over a couple of time because he got a 15 yard flag. They play different positions but I think him and Josh Allen are wired the same, they are fired up and play every play like it’s their last. Replacing that energy and leadership, he fits what we look for in our offensive lineman, smart, tough, dependable. That’s a blow, I feel bad for Jon because he worked so hard coming off that shoulder(surgery). He was ahead of schedule the whole offseason even though he wasn’t able to be here the whole time. I’m proud of his effort. We do have some other guys, we tried to build as much depth as we could. Daryl Williams, Evan Boehm, Ike Boettger, Spencer Long, Cody Ford could slide in there and put Ty Nsekhe at tackle.
Q: What are the challenges of bringing players to Buffalo and having guys ready to replace players who may land on the COVID list?
Beane: The rules are tight. We are down to 80 because we have guys on the COVID list. Technically we are down to 80 even though we didn’t cut a bunch of people to get there, we have a few guys on the COVID list and we have opt outs which put us down to that number. We lost Jon Feliciano, normally any other year I would bring in 2-3 lineman to work out and see who is in the best shape, fits what we’re looking for and see who can pass a physical. The current rule states that I can’t bring anyone in if we don’t have a roster spot. If we’re at 80, I have to get to 79 in order to bring a player in to visit and they can’t come in the facility. They have to have a negative test before we can physical them and that physical is outside our building. I can’t bring 3 lineman in, I can bring one in if I get to 79. I understand the reason for rules, they are trying to limit travel and the spread of this across our country but it makes it hard. It’s basically 5 days, I know there were reports about players who were in town, those guys are still going through the process of testing. We have to get negative test multiple days, get them a physical, and get them signed and we’re in the middle of that but even when we get them signed they’re still going to be days from coming into our building because of this protocol. It’s about a 5 days process from them getting to Buffalo and getting them into our facility.
Q: How difficult is it to extend player’s contracts when the salary cap is so up in the air?
Beane: We’re going to operate that the (salary cap) floor is going to be $175 million. There are so many unknowns, are there going to be fans in the stands and things that create revenue? Are there any new deals coming? There are so many things that we don’t have answers to so I’m glad the union and the league worked out what the floor is so we can at least plan for that. It’s $198(million) this year and those things have been jumping 10-12 million each year so prior to COVID we were planning on that thing being close to $210, we’ll obviously adjust what we can and can’t do but we still want to retain our guys but we do have to keep an eye on where that salary floor currently stands and until they tell us different that’s what we have to operate with.