Douglass G. Whaley (born December 16, 1972[1]) is an American football executive and former collegiate player. He is the current Senior Vice President of Football Operations for the XFL and from 2013 to 2017 was the general manager of the Buffalo Bills of the National Football League.

Doug Whaley
Born: (1972-12-16) December 16, 1972 (age 47)
Career information
CollegeUniversity of Pittsburgh
High schoolUpper St. Clair
(Upper St. Clair, Pennsylvania)

Early lifeEdit

Whaley was born in Pittsburgh, where he played high school football and went on to play at the collegiate level.[2] He played college football at Pitt as a defensive back, collecting 4 interceptions during his tenure.[3]


Pittsburgh SteelersEdit

Whaley worked for the Steelers as a pro personnel coordinator. He worked there for 10 years before accepting the Buffalo Bills job. Whaley worked directly under Kevin Colbert the Director of Football Operations.[4] In his time with the Steelers, Whaley helped scout and draft defensive players such as Lamarr Woodley, Troy Polamalu and Lawrence Timmons.

Buffalo BillsEdit

Whaley was named assistant general manager and Director of Pro Personnel of the Buffalo Bills on February 10, 2010. Whaley oversaw the team's Pro Personnel department and assisted General Manager Buddy Nix in all football-related administrative duties and in the college talent evaluation process until Nix stepped down from the general manager position on May 13, 2013. Whaley became Buffalo's GM three days later.[5] His most notable accomplishments with Buffalo included trading up to draft receiver Sammy Watkins and trading linebacker Kiko Alonso for All-Pro running back LeSean McCoy.

Whaley was, in conjunction with owners Terry and Kim Pegula and President Russ Brandon, responsible for the hiring of head coach Rex Ryan. After Ryan was relieved of his duties, the team announced that Whaley would lead the search for Ryan's successor, Sean McDermott.

On January 10, 2016, Whaley agreed to a contract extension offered to him by the Bills.

Whaley, alongside his staff, was "relieved of his duties" by the Bills on April 30, 2017, following the 2017 NFL Draft.[6] He spent the 2018 season as a recruiter for the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl.


On November 8, 2018, Whaley was hired as the senior vice president of football operations for the revival of the XFL.[7]


E-mail gaffeEdit

Whaley gained unwanted notoriety in 2007, when an inappropriate e-mail that he had sent to Steelers assistant coach Larry Zierlein was inadvertently forwarded by Zierlein to a large number of high-level NFL employees, including commissioner Roger Goodell. Zierlein apologized for the gaffe, and it is believed that neither he nor Whaley was disciplined by the team or the league.[8]

Radio remarkEdit

In a May 2016 radio interview, Whaley said of football: "It's a violent game that I personally don't think humans are supposed to play."[9]

Release of Fred JacksonEdit

Whaley was criticized by fans and players alike for his decision to cut longtime Bills running back and fan favorite Fred Jackson as a "business decision" prior to the 2015 NFL season, especially after allegedly telling Jackson his roster spot was safe. Jackson later reflected on the move prior to retiring with the Bills after Whaley's dismissal, stating that the manner in which he was cut left a "bad taste in his mouth" and that he was dumbfounded by it.[10]

Tyrod Taylor benchingEdit

In December 2016, Whaley refused to explain his decision to bench the Bills' starting quarterback, Tyrod Taylor, prior to the last regular season game. Instead, interim head coach Anthony Lynn was forced to address questions from the media, and in an unscripted response, advised Taylor's benching was a 'business decision'. Whaley did not publicly comment on the decision.[11]


  1. ^ "Bills: Who is Doug Whaley and is he next in line?". Archived from the original on August 21, 2016. Retrieved August 19, 2016.
  2. ^ Thorman, Joel (December 22, 2008). "Getting to Know a GM: Doug Whaley". Retrieved August 19, 2016.
  3. ^ "Doug Whaley". Archived from the original on October 6, 2016. Retrieved August 19, 2016.
  4. ^ "Whaley brings Steelers ways to Buffalo, banks on top pick Manuel". Retrieved August 19, 2016.
  5. ^ "Bills name Doug Whaley GM". ESPN. Associated Press. May 16, 2013. Retrieved May 17, 2013.
  6. ^ "Buffalo Bills fire general manager Doug Whaley". April 30, 2017. Retrieved April 30, 2017.
  7. ^ "Former Bills GM Whaley hired as XFL senior VP". WIVB-TV. Nexstar Media Group. November 8, 2018. Retrieved November 8, 2018.
  8. ^ Bouchette, Ed (May 23, 2007). "Blogger says Steelers' Zierlein inadvertently forwarded porn to NFL officials". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Archived from the original on September 11, 2016. Retrieved December 28, 2016.
  9. ^ Tyler Dunne (May 24, 2016). "Bills GM Doug Whaley: Humans are not supposed to play football". The Buffalo News. Retrieved June 12, 2016.
  10. ^ Wojton, Nick (April 19, 2018). "Fred Jackson was told his roster spot was 'fine' before being cut by Bills, Doug Whaley". Bills Wire. Retrieved May 8, 2019.
  11. ^ Michael David Smith (December 28, 2016). "Anthony Lynn: Benching Tyrod Taylor wasn't my decision". ProFootballTalk. NBC Sports.

External linksEdit

Sporting positions
Preceded by
Buddy Nix
Buffalo Bills General Manager
2013April 30, 2017
Succeeded by
Brandon Beane
Preceded by
Charles Bailey
Pittsburgh Steelers Pro Scouting Coordinator
Succeeded by
Brandon Hunt