Carolina Panthers

Brandon Beane, front-runner for Bills’ GM job, could join growing ex-Panthers pack

Carolina Panthers assistant general manager Brandon Beane (left), shown with Carolina GM Dave Gettleman, will interview this week for the Buffalo Bills’ general manager job.
Carolina Panthers assistant general manager Brandon Beane (left), shown with Carolina GM Dave Gettleman, will interview this week for the Buffalo Bills’ general manager job. jsiner@charlotteobserver.com

Panthers assistant general manager Brandon Beane will interview for the Buffalo Bills’ GM vacancy later this week in Florida, according to a league source.

On Monday the Bills asked Carolina for permission to speak to Beane about replacing Doug Whaley, who was fired about 12 hours after last weekend’s draft concluded.

Beane, 40, is one of two known candidates connected to the job. Texans player personnel director Brian Gaine will interview with the Bills on Thursday, the Houston Chronicle reported.

Beane is considered the front-runner because of his strong ties to Buffalo first-year coach Sean McDermott, who worked in Carolina for six seasons as Ron Rivera’s defensive coordinator.

McDermott is putting together what looks like a Carolina-Niagara Falls branch campus. The Bills have signed ex-Panthers Mike Tolbert, Philly Brown and Leonard Johnson. They’re also meeting Wednesday with free agent tight end Gary Barnidge, another former Panthers player who crossed paths with McDermott in Charlotte.

Beane, who joined the Panthers in 1998, has spent the past two seasons in his current role. Prior to that he was the football operations director for seven years, and helped set the draft board.

He’s credited with executing draft-day trades that brought former cornerback Bene’ Benwikere, receiver Devin Funchess and offensive tackle Daryl Williams to Charlotte. Beane has been viewed as a strong in-house candidate to succeed Dave Gettleman, the Panthers’ 66-year-old general manager.

But NFL rules prohibit the Panthers from blocking Beane from interviewing with Buffalo because the position involves more responsibility for shaping the 53-man roster than Beane’s present role.

Joseph Person: 704-358-5123, @josephperson

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