Buffalo Bills general manager Brandon Beane explained why the Cincinnati Bengals have themselves in a better position talent-wise.
The Buffalo Bills once again finished just short of their ultimate goal — winning a Super Bowl. This time around, despite being considered favorites entering the 2022 season, the Bills lost in the Divisional Round to the Cincinnati Bengals in convincing fashion.
The Bengals are now set to play against the Kansas City Chiefs for the second consecutive year. Of course, the discussion has been made that the Bengals are built in much better shape than the Bills are currently.
While speaking with the media on Wednesday, Beane was asked about whether they need to follow the trend that the Bengals have in terms of building their roster. The general manager gave a lengthy response, but one part that stuck out was “I don’t want to suck bad enough to have to get Ja’Marr Chase.”
Brandon Beane says he doesn’t want Bills to be bad enough to build roster like Bengals
"“They right now are on the advantage of a rookie quarterback contract,” said Beane. “They had some lean years, without getting too much into their build, I don’t want to suck bad enough to get Ja’Marr Chase. He’s a heck of a talent, and I’d love to have him, but you’ve got to go through some lean years to do that. They were able to get Burrow at No. 1 and I don’t remember where Chase was drafted, but it was pretty high. Those guys are on their rookie deals. We’re paying Stefon Diggs a pretty hefty number. We’re paying Josh Allen a pretty hefty number. So there is the restraints of the cap.”"
As Beane mentions the “lean years,” the Bengals were pretty bad in the 2019 and 2020 seasons. After finishing 2-14 in the 2019 campaign, they earned the No. 1 overall pick and selected Burrow, who had an unreal season with the LSU Tigers, culminating in a Heisman Trophy and a College Football Playoff National Championship. Then, after losing Burrow to a torn ACL midway through 2020, Cincinnati finished the year 4-11-1 and earned the sixth-overall pick. Cincinnati used that pick on Burrow’s former LSU wide receiver in Chase.
With both players still on their rookie deals, the Bengals had the advantage to sign some big free agents to bolster their roster and make a push for a Super Bowl. Players like defensive end Trey Hendrickson and offensive guard Alex Cappa stand out, specifically.
Burrow is solidifying his status as one of the best quarterbacks in the league in just his third year, and he has an electric, play-making threat in Chase to target downfield.
As for the Bills, they built around Allen when they selected him in the first-round of the 2018 NFL Draft. Then, they gave him a six-year, $258 million contract extension, which officially kicks in next season. As for Diggs, they recently rewarded him with a four-year, $96 million extension which kicks in after next season. Hence, there is only so much cap space to work with, even though general managers can find ways to work around it.
The Bengals will look to reach the Super Bowl for the second consecutive year by defeating the Chiefs on Sunday. The Bills, meanwhile, will prepare for an important offseason to try and build for deep push into the playoffs.