The Buffalo Bills‘ brass is putting on a brave face following yet another disappointing playoff loss. After a late-season run that saw them capture the AFC’s No. 2 seed, the Bills’ 2023 season came to an end this past Sunday night after dropping a 27-24 decision to the visiting Kansas City Chiefs.
Despite another loss to Patrick Mahomes and Co. and a challenging salary cap situation awaiting them, Bills general manager Brandon Beane and coach Sean McDermott are operating with the thought of getting the Bills back into title contention in 2024.
“I don’t get into that ‘window’s closed’ mindset,” Beane said, via NBC Buffalo. “Your team is always changing and evolving each class, with draft classes, free agents. … This is a quarterback league, and I believe in the guy we’ve got under center.”
“This is not a situation where you strip it down to the studs,” added McDermott. “You really start with understanding the success that we’ve had and how we’ve gotten it. Then you make tweaks along the way to try and get ourselves to become world champions. … We have not reached that ultimate goal however in terms of why we came here, and we will work tirelessly to do that.”
Beane is right. The NFL is a quarterback-driven league, and the Bills are fortunate that they have one of the best in the business in Josh Allen. An MVP candidate, Allen’s exceptional play down the stretch was instrumental in Buffalo’s six-game winning streak after a 6-6 start.
As good as Allen is, he can’t do it alone, which will require the Bills to get creative when it comes to building their roster for 2024. Buffalo is slated to be $43 million over the cap and have to deal with the expiring contracts of several notable plays that includes safety Micah Hyde, wideout Gabe Davis, pass rusher Leonard Floyd and defensive tackle DaQuan Jones.
Fortunately for the Bills, they have several of their cornerstone players under contract for the foreseeable future, including Allen, wideouts Stefon Diggs and Khalil Shakir, tight end Dalton Kincaid, linebacker Terrel Benard, defensive tackle Ed Oliver and linebacker Matt Milano.
Buffalo is also expected to have 10 picks in the upcoming NFL Draft that includes the 28th overall pick. Offensive line, defensive line and wideout are among the positions the Bills may choose to address with the 28th pick.
Instead of joining the early ’80s and ’00s Chargers and other notable teams that never got to a Super Bowl, Beane and McDermott are hoping that the Bills instead mimic John Madden’s Raiders, who suffered several heartbreaking playoff losses before finally breaking through in Super Bowl XI.
“I’m pretty goal-oriented and the ultimate goal is winning a world championship and doing that for Bills Mafia, doing that for Terry and Kim, doing that for the people in Western New York,” McDermott said. “I’m extremely proud of what we’ve accomplished, but not in any way satisfied or going to get complacent with where we’re at.
“Every year you start over and every year that fire, I can tell you and promise you, that fire burns within me as bright as it did the year before, if not more. We’re disappointed, yes, but not broken.”