ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (WIVB) – Bills general manager Brandon Beane expressed frustration with the Washington Commanders organization Friday over how the signing of running back J.D. McKissic unfolded.
Multiple reports on Tuesday had McKissic agreeing to sign with the Bills in free agency. ESPN reported his contract was for 2 years and $7 million, with incentives that could raise it to $8 million.
But in a surprise on Wednesday, McKissic re-signed with Washington for the same compensation. His agents Doug Hendrickson and CJ LaBoy told ESPN’s Adam Schefter that Washington did not offer McKissic a deal until after he had agreed to sign with the Bills. But once McKissic heard Washington was willing to match the offer, Schefter reported, McKissic didn’t want to leave.
Beane shook his head when asked about the situation in a press conference on Friday.
“That was tough. Obviously, he was a guy we targeted,” Beane said, choosing his words carefully. “You know, in this business, in general, when you have an agreement, it’s good. But until there’s ink on the paper, you know. His agents did a great job. Doug Hendrickson and CJ LaBoy did a great job. There was some things that went down with the other organization, which is painful. But they chose to do what they did, and I couldn’t stop it.
“I’ve had it before where the agent has agreed with you on something,” Beane added, “and then someone else calls and says, ‘Hey, what if I add a $1 million? What if I do this, what if I guarantee this?’ And the agent — once you have an agreement, the agent is supposed to say, ‘It’s over.’ And this agent did that. And this agent told the other club, ‘It’s over.’ But the other club didn’t back off.”
Beane has worked closely with members of Washington’s front office in the past. General manager Martin Mayhew is in his first year on the job but previously spent eight years as the Lions GM and was most recently the 49ers VP of player personnel. Marty Hurney, Washington’s executive VP of football/player personnel, was the general manager in Carolina when Beane was the director of football operations. Senior VP of football administration Rob Rogers, who handles roster management, contract proposals and negotiation, was a longtime Panthers executive in a similar role.
McKissic would have been a good addition for the Bills’ passing game. He ranks third among all running backs in receptions over the past two seasons (123), trailing only five-time Pro Bowler Alvin Kamara (130) and Austin Ekeler (124).