ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. — The Buffalo Bills are still recovering from their heartbreaking loss to the Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC title game on Sunday.
Instead on preparing for their first Super Bowl appearance in 27 years, players and personnel are figuring out their off season plans.
Bills general manager Brandon Beane said the locker room was a somber feeling Sunday night.
“The further you go probably the more it hurts because you know you’re that close,” Beane said. “You’re walking into that game knowing you're 60 minutes away from an opportunity to win it all and that’s ultimate goal. So when you’re right there on the doorstep and you don’t do it, in our locker room it’s a lot of tears.”
“I can't say I wasn’t feeling it as well," Beane said. "You feel bad for those players, you feel bad for our coaches, you feel bad our organization and our fan base. So I appreciate when I walked out there the other night there was a lot of Bills Mafia in the stands. It was really cool.”
As the Bills collect themselves and figure out how to revamp this team, Beane said right now “the Bills are not a Super Bowl team.”
Losing to the Chiefs exposed many areas where Buffalo couldn’t match up with Kansas City. In the end-of-season wrap up, Beane stressed that the Chiefs are the team to beat to get the the Super Bowl.
"They are the current gold standard of the AFC and maybe the league," Beane said.
He added that it's also important to first win the AFC East. The Bills can't forget about the Jets, Patriots and Dolphins. That has to be handled first.
Beane said it many times Wednesday that there’s going to be some decisions this off season. The sole reason to that is the salary cap. Right now, the Bills are looking at $175 million compared to the range of $210 million to $215 million that some general managers were expecting. It's still unclear what the final number will be.
This comes after a tough year with the pandemic and one where the Bills have some big contracts to negotiate like linebacker Matt Milano.
“It’s one of those things you wish we knew that a year ago maybe we wouldn’t of made every move we did," Beane said. "Maybe we wouldn’t have been as aggressive in some areas.”
Beane added, “I think most teams were planning on the cap to be around $210 million to $215 million talking to some of my peers in the league and how we were viewing it. It is definitely a change in plans. There’s not a lot we can do in season our roster we’re still going to pick the best 53 and best practice squad, but at this point as we get clarity and this point, we don’t have anything but the $175 million.”
Beane did say there will be some league meetings on the horizon that will give more clarity to the cap situation, but as of now that’s what Buffalo has to work with.
The Bills made a huge splash in the last off season by acquiring Stefon Diggs, but Beane was very adamant to not anticipate any blockbuster moves. Their primary goal is to plug in some holes and retain their guys.
Some of the Bills Free Agents:
Matt Milano, Andre Smith, Josh Norman, Levi Wallace, Dean Marlowe, Matt Barkley, Andre Roberts, Isaiah McKenzie, Corey Bojorquez, Taiwan Jones, T.J. Yeldon, Daryl Williams, Jon Feliciano, Brian Winters, Ike Boettger, Del’Shawn Phillips