One of the oddest stories of the NFL offseason is what’s going on in Buffalo, where Bills coach Doug Marrone abruptly opted out of his contract after Week 17.
Marrone led the Bills to a 9-7 record in 2014, the franchise’s first winning season in 10 years. Then he quit.
According to widespread reports, there was growing tension between Marrone and general manger Doug Whaley, and that’s why he walked away.
Tim Graham of the Buffalo News reports that Marrone’s relationship with Whaley “had fallen apart,” and that the coach made one final play for more personnel control before opting out.
ESPN’s Adam Schefter gives a good example of why Marrone was so frustrated with his lack of personnel power. According to Schefter, Marrone stormed out of the room after the team made the Sammy Watkins trade during the 2014 draft:
Marrone was not in favour of Buffalo surrendering a future first-round pick to the Cleveland Browns in a trade that did not involve a quarterback, sources said.
There are different accounts of exactly how unhappy Marrone was, with some sources recalling he stormed out of the room, and other sources simply saying he walked out of the room.
The Bills traded the No. 9 pick, a 2015 1st-round pick, and a 2015 4th-round pick to the Cleveland Browns for the No. 4 pick. They drafted Watkins at No. 4, but they paid a heavy price.
In retrospect, Marrone was right. The 2014 draft turned out to be one of the best wide receiver drafts ever. If they Bills stayed at No. 9, they could have taken Odell Beckham Jr. (who ultimately had a better season than Watkins) and kept their 2015 1st-rounder.
Marrone, who will still get paid the $US4 million the Bills owe him in 2015, is now considered a candidate for the New York Jets job.
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