The Buffalo Bills have fired general manager Doug Whaley after four seasons. The team announced the move Sunday morning, less than 24 hours after the 2017 NFL Draft.

"After a thorough review of our football operations over the past several months, Kim [Pegula] and I informed Doug this morning that we will be moving in a new direction," Bills owner Terry Pegula said in a statement. "We have enjoyed working with Doug. He is a good person and we want to thank him for his work and commitment to our football team. This was my decision. It was not an easy decision but I believe it's the right one for the future of the Buffalo Bills. Our search for a new general manager will begin immediately."

The Bills also cleared out the scouting departments, according to PFT.

CBS Sports NFL Insider Jason La Canfora reports that Panthers assistant general manager Brandon Beane is the top candidate to replace Whaley.

Whaley spent a decade in the Steelers front office working under general manager Kevin Colbert before coming to Buffalo as assistant general manager and director of pro perssonel in February 2010. At the time he was hired,  Ralph Wilson still owned the team and Chan Gailey had just been hired as head coach. Whaley was promoted to general manager in May 2013 after Buddy Nix stepped down from the position.

The Bills were 30-34 during Whaley's tenure as general manager and had only one winning season; the team finished 9-7 in 2014 but missed the playoffs, a drought that dates back to 1999. Head coaches Doug Marrone and Rex Ryan were both fired under Whaley, and Sean McDermott, previously the Panthers defensive coordinator, was hired in January.

And now it appears Beane, who worked with McDermott in Carolina, will be reunited with him in Buffalo.

La Canfora reported Saturday evening, shortly after the conclusion of the 2017 NFL Draft, that there could be a shakeup in the Bills' front office. But this wasn't a sudden change in strategy; here's what La Canfora wrote back in March on the matter:

And I continue to hear that new Bills coach Sean McDermott has growing cache with ownership and that team could be bringing in vice presidents and/or personnel figures with ties to the coach in the near future.

Panthers director of player personnel is someone particularly well thought of who could end up in Buffalo after the draft in one capacity or another. There are already rumblings that the marriage of McDermott and Bills Gm Doug Whaley likely isn't built to last.

Since that last playoff win following the 19989 season, the Bills have had nine coaches.