The Buffalo Bills announced on Monday that GM Buddy Nix is stepping aside to transition into his new role as "special assistant" to the team's personnel department.
Nix, 73, was a scout for the Bills from 1993-2000 before working as the assistant GM/director of player personnel for the San Diego Chargers. Nix rejoined the Bills organization in January of 2009 and was promoted to general manager later that year. The Bills were 16-32 in three full seasons with Nix as their general manager.
"I've made this decision to step away from the General Manager's position because I feel it is the right time," Nix said in a statement released by the Bills. "By the 'right time' I mean I think we have a good young roster, an excellent head coach with a good staff, and it's time to let someone else handle these responsibilities and move forward together. Timing is the main thing, but there are other benefits as well. This job is very demanding with a 24-7 schedule of responsibilities.
"This new position will enable me to spend more time with my family. I appreciate the opportunity given to me by Mr. Wilson and Russ (Brandon) and I'm fortunate to step away from the job and still remain a part of the team."
The Bills have not announced a replacement for Nix, but the team will likely promote assistant GM Doug Whaley to the position. Whaley spent 10 seasons in the personnel department with the Pittsburgh Steelers before joining the Bills in 2010. The 40-year-old Whaley is a highly-regarded talent evaluator and received a contract extension from the Bills in February.
With Whaley waiting in the wings, and CEO Russ Brandon eager to create a "robust" analytics program that Nix hasn't been too enthusiastic about, Nix stepping aside this offseason does not come as a complete surprise. However, Nix appeared excited about building a team around 2013 first-round quarterback E.J. Manuel and Bills CEO Russ Brandon maintained as recently as April 27 that Nix would be the team's general manager for the foreseeable future.
"There's a lot of speculation for whatever reason related to that," Brandon said of Nix's future with the team (via Tim Graham of The Buffalo News). "Buddy Nix is our general manager and will be for a long time."
In this case, "a long time" is sixteen days.