On Tuesday, March 15th, the Buffalo Bills thought they had their answer at running back in J.D. McKissic. Two days later, they’re right back in the running back market. What made J.D. McKissic back out?
Bills general manager Brandon Beane expressed heavy frustration with the Washington Commanders, after Buffalo had already agreed to terms with the 28 year-old running back. Beane went on to say “Once you have an agreement, the agent is supposed to say ‘it's over.’ This agent did that, but Washington did not back off”. Beane then went on to say that this move by Washington will “complicate” doing future business with the Commanders. The Bills GM, who has a history with Commanders head coach Ron Rivera and front office member Marty Hurney, went on to praise McKissic’s agent, saying he did a “great job” on helping the running back get a contract from Washington. Beane stated that agents have done similar things in the past, where an agent asks for an extra million or guarantees something else in the contract. Prior to the Bills verbally agreeing, the Commanders did not make an attempt to resign McKissic. Beane also went on to describe the situation as “painful”, saying that “They chose to do what they did”. McKissic, who wanted to receive a contract from the Commanders, signed the same contract the Bills offered him the previous day. The Veteran running back had stated in January that he wanted to return to Washington when he hit free agency. Beane has a big history with the Commanders, mostly coming from his 19 year stint with the Carolina Panthers. During that 19 year-tenure, he learned alot from Marty Hurney, who he considers a “mentor” and a “great friend”. Beane was described to have been extremely shocked and in dismay. In two seasons with Washington, McKissic has received 123 passes and averaged 8 yards per reception. McKissic is an extremely good route runner, and an above average blocker. J.D. is also described as a highly respected and popular player in the locker room, with teammates praising his high energy and fun personality. For the Bills, taking away a great playmaker in McKissic hurts their offense, who were ranked last in yards after catch in 2021. The only running backs under contract for Buffalo are Devin Singletary and Zack Moss, who were Buffalo's third round draft picks in 2019 and 2020. Beane now is expected to turn back into the Free Agent market, where he can sign a player that could be similar to McKissic.