Bills’ Brandon Beane, Sean McDermott explain Darryl Johnson trade

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Buffalo Bills general manager Brandon Beane always gets creative with his roster building at the end of the summer.

Some are starting to get used to the way the GM will “cut” players like Reid Ferguson. The long snapper was released with the full intention of bringing him back. But another way which Buffalo has become accustom to is Beane’s fondness for trades.

He did it again this week. With a deep defensive front built this offseason, Beane shipped defensive end Darryl Johnson to the Carolina Panthers.

Beane said that trading the special teams ace was not an easy decision, but one that checked a lot of boxes for him like compensation and roster building.

“Yeah, it was tough,” Beane said via video conference. “I’m a big fan of Darryl. I was real proud of his progress as a seventh-round pick, North Carolina A&T. He definitely could have helped our team this year.

“I mentioned earlier we went with 11 D-linemen now — which is about as heavy as you can go. We really tried to keep the best 53 and not say ‘we’re going to keep X running backs and X number of receivers and X number of tight ends’ and that’s why we went thin (at tight end). Darryl was a tough call, it really was. We just, at the end of the day, probably had the most value that we could get for him.”

That value ended up being a sixth-round pick in 2022.

At edge defender, the Bills had a slew of players that preformed well during the summer, which made it difficult for many to guess who would make the final roster. Among those close to Johnson on the D-line depth chart that stood out included Efe Obada and Harrison Phillips.

Despite that slight blur, McDermott was on board with the idea of trading Johnson.

“It’s great that we have those options,” he said Thursday.

But in a typical coach manner, McDermott added that those that did make Buffalo’s final roster still have work to do.

The fight for playing time along the defensive line rotation McDermott’s defenses famously run is still up for grabs.

“Now they’ve got to play. Now it’s time to buckle down and produce and that’s what I’m looking for and that’s what we have to have,” he said.

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