For quite a long time, the Bills were irrelevant in the NFL conversation. The Patriots dominated the AFC East and subsequently the Bills for as long as I can remember. Before the hiring of their current regime, Buffalo hadn’t been to playoffs since 1999. Rex Ryan took the year through some mediocre years where they hovered around .500, then Sean McDermott and Brandon Beane took over in 2017.
The two completely turned the franchise around by building a competent roster with a bevy of cost-effective free agents and stellar draft picks. Beane moved on from multiple Bills mainstays and assembled a sustainable roster that inevitably came to fruition when they aggressively traded up for Josh Allen at the seventh overall pick. Though things started slow for Allen and the Bills, going 6-10 that first year, I’d say things have turned around for them.
They’ve made the playoffs in back-to-back years and have accumulated a 32-15 record, and have a bright future with their QB-HC-GM trio. Any rebuilding team would love to be in Buffalo’s position. Arthur Smith acknowledged that success and noted he doesn’t see much difference in what he and Terry Fontenot are trying to do with the Falcons.
Arthur Smith with high praise for Buffalo. Thought it was interesting he made the comment that seeing the trajectory of the Bills is "not dissimilar to what" he and Terry Fontenot are "trying to build" in Atlanta.
— Tori McElhaney (@tori_mcelhaney) December 29, 2021
The Falcons are similarly cap-strapped like the Bills were when Beane and McDermott took over, though the quarterback situations differed. The Bills and Falcons kind of had/have bridge quarterbacks, but nobody would argue Tyrod Taylor and Matt Ryan are in the same conversation. Beane would go on a rampage of cap casualties and clear out an insane amount of space from Sammy Watkins, Marcell Dareus, Cordy Glenn, among others. The Falcons could see a similar situation unfolding with Grady Jarrett, Matt Ryan, Jake Matthews, Deion Jones, and others. The good news in all of this is the new regime isn’t overly concerned with winning right now but more motivated by building a repeatable process of winning.