Brandon Beane agrees it was a low risk gamble.
The Bills GM confirmed on Monday he only paid a 2020 7th round pick for the rights to Corey Coleman. The wide receiver was a first round selection just two years ago.
Coleman wasn’t in Rochester on Monday. Beane said Coleman was driving up from Cleveland and the Bills are hoping, but not guaranteeing, he’ll be on the field at St. John Fisher Tuesday.
“It hadn’t worked out in Cleveland, probably the way he thought [when] he was drafted or the way they thought when they drafted him in the first round,” Beane said. “It’s a fresh start for him to come in here and compete.”
Coleman is a speed guy. He ran a 4.37 40 yard dash at the 2016 NFL Combine. Beane said, while he was in Carolina, the Panthers had a private workout with Coleman before the 2016 draft.
“I remember scouting him in college,” Beane said. “I got to know him a little bit [and] his makeup and all of that.”
Beane gave the usual cliche that he’s always looking to make the Bills better, but he did add that sometimes you look harder at positions where the competition is “unsettled.”
The Bills and Browns discussed Coleman in the spring, with nothing new until the last few days.
“Just thought now was the right opportunity to get him in here learning this offense rather than waiting any longer,” Beane said.
Beane told Coleman in a phone conversation nothing will be given to him, whether it’s a starting job or even a spot on the 53-man roster.
The Bills receivers are fine with that. They understand this is how the NFL works.
“Last year, Anquan (Boldin) came in and we welcomed him,” Rod Streater said. “Anytime someone new comes in, they’re part of the family. We gotta build a team. We gotta go out here and compete. It adds competition to the room and that’s what you want. He’s gonna make us all better.”
“They made the move that they wanted to make,” Kaelin Clay said about the Bills front office. “You can’t take it personal and I don’t take it personal. I hope nobody else in the room takes it personal.”
Beane would not discuss any of the things that may have gone wrong for Coleman with the Browns. Jordan Poyer was in Cleveland with Coleman for the 2016 season. He called Coleman an “explosive player.”
“I’m sure he’s excited for a new opportunity. The same thing happened to me. I was excited for a new opportunity and to come to a new organization and show what I can do,” Poyer said. We’re excited to have another playmaker and I can’t wait to see him.”
Beane said the discounted price for a recent former first round pick may be due the new regime in Cleveland. GM John Dorsey is “a little less attached” to a player he did not draft.
Coleman also has been unfortuante with injuries. He broke his hand in September during each of his two NFL seasons and has only played 19 games total.
“Ideally, guys in the first round don’t take so long. There’s various reasons like injuries, the system, there’s just not a good fit for where you’re at,” Beane said.
The Bills hope they will be a fit for Coleman. They’re happy Beane took a swing on a player that could be full of untapped potential.
“He’s a competitor,” Poyer said of Beane. “He wants to win. He’s gonna do whatever it takes to help this team win football games.”