The Bills got a running back at the trade deadline, dealing with the Colts for Nyheim Hines. But Bills General Manager Brandon Beane confirmed his team had interest in Christian McCaffrey before the Panthers traded the running back to the 49ers on Oct. 20.
Beane was with the Panthers when McCaffrey became the eighth overall pick.
“I know [rumors] started with McCaffrey,” Beane said Wednesday, via Jon Scott of Spectrum News 1 BUF. “Yes, that was the last draft I was there in Carolina. Know him well. When you hear he’s on the block, I wouldn’t be doing my due diligence to not look into that.
“I did speak to the Panthers G.M. Never made him an offer but did stay in touch through the process, and ultimately, it was going to be more than we were going to be able to do.”
Conflicting reports emerged two weeks ago about whether the Bills had spoken to the Panthers about McCaffrey, who ended up going to the 49ers in exchange for a 2023 NFL Draft second-round pick, a 2023 third-rounder, a 2023 fourth-rounder and a 2024 fifth-round pick.
The Bills sent running back Zack Moss and a conditional sixth-round pick to the Colts for Hines.
Beane said he never talked to Saints General Manager Mickey Loomis about running back Alvin Kamara, who remains in New Orleans after the trade deadline.
“The process of how we look into things from a scouting standpoint is our scouts have teams they’re responsible for. They’re tracking everything,” Beane explained. “When you hear buzzes out there on Twitter, in the media, whatever, that a player may be available, that’s their job to turn on the film, evaluate them and then look into it. There are times when things get put out there that the Buffalo Bills are after this player, sometimes I’m not even aware. I say that in the sense that we may have a scout and he’s in charge of the Denver Broncos. He may call his contact at that team and say, ‘Hey, is this guy even available? Should I even mention him? Should I not?’ Sometimes you never even hear back whether the guy’s available or not and then you read two days later that we went after him.
“So, I say that to help us how the process works. That leads me to Alvin Kamara. That was the scouts looking into [rumors he was on trade block]. They put something out — maybe Philly was in it or something; I can’t remember the team — [and we] checked into it. Never actually got an answer whether he was available or not. Then, Sunday it’s reported on one of the shows we were rebuffed. Well, I never spoke to their G.M. That’s just how the process works.”