Bills GM On Cam Newton: "You Never Say Never"

Brandon Beane and Newton have history, but is that enough for Cam to land in Buffalo?

Zach Gelb
April 08, 2020 - 9:08 am
Cam Newton Panthers

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Brandon Beane has served as Buffalo Bills general manager since 2017, but he got his start in Carolina. He was director of football operations from 2008 to 2014 and assistant general manager from 2015 to 2016. 

In other words, Beane was an executive in Carolina when the Panthers drafted Cam Newton No. 1 and, a few years later, reached the Super Bowl.

“I root for Cam,” Beane said on The Zach Gelb Show. “Cam was a big part of our success. Shoot, without Cam, maybe I’m not a GM in Buffalo because we know how it works. You’re on a team as a high-ranking executive and you have enough success, you get looked at.”

Newton, meanwhile, is looking for a new team.

“It sounds like he’s healthy,” Beane said. “I was reading the other day that he’s going to wait to see what happens in the draft with where some of these quarterbacks go. But I hope he’ll get an opportunity. I don’t know that somebody is going to necessarily let him come in and start right away, but I definitely think he deserves the opportunity to compete for it. Unless he’s playing the Bills, I’m a Cam fan. I’ll root for him.”

The Bills drafted Josh Allen seventh overall in 2018. He is, for all intents and purposes, the franchise quarterback. But might Beane be interested in signing Newton?

“You never say never,” Beane said. “I know Cam’s mindset, and I can guarantee – I have not spoken to him – I guarantee you Cam’s got a chip on his shoulder. I know his DNA very well. He thinks he’s being doubted right now. I think he would have to change his frame of mind. Again, this is all without talking to him, but I think he deserves a chance to go start, and that’s really not the opportunity that we would have. Again, you never say never if things change in his landscape. But I hope that he’ll get a chance to, if not start, compete to start.”

As for Allen, he should enjoy his shiny new (wide receiver) toy next season. The Bills traded several picks, including a 2020 first, to Minnesota for Stefon Diggs in March.

“I just didn’t know if we would get a guy, even at 22, that would be able to come in and know the system, know the pro game,” Beane said, explaining his rationale for the trade. “With all of that and a shortened, condensed offseason, [we] just decided this was the right move for us. Hopefully it’ll pay off.”

Diggs, 26, averaged 82.5 catches for 1,075.5 yards and 7.5 touchdowns over the last two seasons but clearly wasn’t happy in Minnesota. Any concerns that could happen in Buffalo?

“That’s always a question. Why does a guy want out?” Beane said. “That’s why we were sniffing around several guys, including him, at the trade deadline last year. But some guys, at the end of the day, are very competitive, and I think . . . a young player sometimes maybe gets emotional. But we’ve done our research. We feel that he’ll come in. He’ll fit. Everybody that we talked to just felt like this was a good young man [who] will bring a competitive [mindset] in practice and to the games.”

The Texans traded DeAndre Hopkins to Arizona right after Buffalo acquired Diggs. Were the Bills in on Hopkins at all?

“I don’t really want to get into that stuff, but there’s nothing there,” Beane said. “I can say that. We always have a lot of conversations with people, and I try not to get into who we had them with or who we didn’t. But there’s honestly nothing there.”