BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — The Bills affirmed belief in the football department’s leadership, extending the contracts of general manager Brandon Beane and coach Sean McDermott through the 2027 season, the team announced Friday.
Beane and McDermott are each entering their seventh season in Buffalo. Together they have restored the Bills roster and culture into a program that has made the playoffs in five of the past six seasons, and won three consecutive AFC East division titles. Prior to their arrival, the Bills had missed the postseason in 17 consecutive seasons, an NFL record.
The timing of the deals represents a reward while also emphasizing the long-term faith of co-owner Terry Pegula in the pair, who are now on their third respective contracts with the team since signing extensions in 2020.
McDermott, 49, whose salary under his previous contract was $8.5 million, boasts the best regular season winning percentage (.639) in team history with a 62-35 record.
“Sean is a proud, Christian, determined man,” Bills owner Terry Pegula said in a news release. “I remember before his interview for the Bills head coaching job thinking about him being a two-time National Prep Wrestling Champ. I thought to myself, you wrestled, you’re determined, you love what you’re doing, and you won. He comes to the Bills every day and will never ask anyone, player or coach, to do anything he wouldn’t do.”
Beane, 46, came to Buffalo following the 2017 draft, a few months after McDermott was hired, and has built the Bills roster into one of the best in the NFL.
“Brandon is a very competitive person,” Pegula said. “I know he likes to win, but I also know he hates to lose. He’s not afraid to say what he’s thinking and if he disagrees with something he will say so, even to the owner. I love it. He, Sean, Kim and I have a very good relationship with open discussions, debate and a lot of communication.”
McDermott, who was hired in January 2017 following Rex Ryan’s dismissal, is credited with instilling a winning culture built around a trusted group of leaders headed by the safety tandem of Micah Hyde and Jordan Poyer.
He was also praised for helping navigate the team through a series of adversity. The Bills finished second in the AFC at 13-3 in a season where safety Damar Hamlin went into cardiac arrest and was resuscitated on the field during a game at Cincinnati on Jan. 2. There also were two schedule disruptions because of snowstorms.
The only knock on McDermott has been how each of the past two Bills seasons have ended.
Buffalo came out flat in a 27-10 loss to Cincinnati in the divisional round last season. Two years ago, the Bills squandered a three-point lead in the final 13 seconds of regulation in a 42-26 overtime loss to Kansas City in the divisional round.
McDermott is taking on extra responsibilities in overseeing the defense this year after the team abruptly announced in February that coordinator Leslie Frazier is taking the year off from coaching.
The relationship between Beane and McDermott dates to the Carolina Panthers in 2011. Beane was the Panthers director of football operations at the time, when McDermott was hired to become the team’s defensive coordinator.
Their tenure in Buffalo together marks a rare period of stability for a franchise that from 2001-2016 featured six head coaches (not including two interim promotions) and five GMs.
Beane and McDermott are prepared to become the longest-serving GM-coach tandem in franchise history entering their seventh season together. That will surpass the six-plus seasons GM Bill Polian and Levy — both Pro Football Hall of Famers — worked together in Buffalo from 1986 to ’92.
At 11-plus seasons, Levy is the team’s longest-serving coach. Bob Lustig ranks as the Bills’ longest-serving GM, having held the job from 1967-78.
- Rochester native supports Bills while living amongst Chiefs fans
- Bills coach Sean McDermott apologizes for 9/11 comments
- Von Miller declines to comment on domestic assault allegations after returning to Bills practice
- Vote: Will the Bills make the playoffs?
- Bills TE Dawson Knox, CB Kaiir Elam return to practice
Jonah Bronstein joined the WIVB squad in 2022 as a digital sports reporter. The Buffalonian has covered the Bills, Sabres, Bandits, Bisons, colleges, high schools and other notable sporting events in Western New York since 2005, for publications including The Associated Press, The Buffalo News, and Niagara Gazette. Read more of his work here.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.