Report: Bills propose major hiring rule change

Team has proposed not allowing coaches to be hired until after conference title games
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As the Buffalo Bills were making their 2020 playoff run to the AFC Championship Game, both their offensive coordinator and defensive coordinator were being considered for head coaching vacancies with other organizations. Brian Daboll was interviewed by both the New York Jets and Los Angeles Chargers, while Leslie Frazier was interviewed by the Houston Texans.

The Jets went on to hire San Francisco 49ers defensive coordinator Robert Saleh, the Chargers ultimately hired Los Angeles Rams defensive coordinator Brandon Staley, while the Texans went with Baltimore Ravens quarterbacks coach David Culley.

Daboll was considered, by many, to be the front-runner for the Chargers’ job, but it was announced they hired Staley almost immediately after the Bills advanced to the AFC Championship Game, leaving many to wonder if the Chargers had passed on him because they did not want to wait at least one more week.

At the time, the Eagles still had a head coach opening and were rumored to be interested in Daboll, as well. However, the Bills coordinator, who was named the NFL Assistant Coach of the Year, reportedly took his name out of consideration.

On Wednesday, NFL Insider Albert Breer of The MMQB reported that the Bills have submitted a rules change proposal to the league that would bar interviews for coaching positions until the conclusion of the conference title games, and not allow teams to hire a new head coach until after the Super Bowl is played.

The proposal would also include any front office personnel hirings. Bills assistant general manager Joe Schoen had interviewed for a couple of different general manager positions during the team’s playoff run.

It’s unclear exactly why the Bills submitted this proposal, but there could be several reasons. Some have speculated that the team felt one or both coordinators may have had their preparation time taken away and distracted by their interviews with other clubs. However, both head coach Sean McDermott and general manager Brandon Beane had said repeatedly both during and after the postseason that they didn’t feel that was the case at all, and were very supportive of both men pursuing their opportunities, even while they were still playing.

It’s very possible the Bills simply feel that the rule currently puts those coaches and teams in a tough position, having a chance to reach their ultimate dream of being a head coach, and one that may not come along again, but still prepare their current team for the biggest game of the season.

This could also even be a proposal to show support for their assistant coaches in their future endeavors. The Bills may feel coaches like Daboll and Frazier were at a disadvantage compared to others who were interviewed and ultimately hired for those head jobs.

No matter the reason, if this change passes when voted upon by the owners later this offseason, it will have a dramatic change in the landscape in which teams fire, interview, and hire coaches.

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