1. He's a North Carolina lifer.
Beane grew up in Stanly, N.C., and attended South Stanly High School. He played quarterback, but his hopes at a college scholarship were dashed when he tore an ACL in the first quarter of play as a senior. After his injury, Beane coached the JV basketball team. He attended UNC-Wilmington on a North Carolina Teaching Fellowship and originally wanted to be a high school coach. During college, a meeting with a staff member of the NBA's Orlando Magic led to a new goal, and Beane switched majors to communication studies.
"The NFL was my number one passion, but I didn’t want to put all my eggs in one basket,” he told UNCW's official website for a graduate profile in 2015.
2. He has humble NFL beginnings.
In a 2012 profile of Beane written by the Wilmington Star News, Beane explained how he got into the NFL. He was originally hired as a summer training camp PR intern in 1998, and then a football operations intern during the regular season.
After his junior year, in the summer of 1997, he landed an internship with the Charlotte Touchdown Club, where he met Bruce Speight, then the Panthers’ assistant media relations director. In 1998, after his graduation from UNCW, the Panthers hired Beane as a summer training camp PR intern and then during the regular season as an intern in football operations. Former Carolina General Manager Marty Hurney eventually hired Beane as assistant director of football operations.
3. He's done plenty of jobs in Carolina.
A big reason the Bills were attracted to Beane -- outside of his obvious connection to coach Sean McDermott – is his experience. In 19 years with the Panthers, Beane "gained experience in nearly every facet of the Panthers personnel department," according to the Bills' release announcing his hiring. Hurney named him director of football operations in 2008, and he held that job until becoming the assistant GM in 2015.
Beane has played a part in the constructing of Carolina's draft board, evaluating professional and collegiate players and operating budgets for eight departments, according to the Star News profile, including video, equipment, training room and player development. He has also worked on player contracts.
"The great thing about Marty was once he gave you a task he did not look over your shoulder; he let you do it,″ Beane told the Star News. “Over the years, he slowly put more and more over my plate."
4. He's run the show before.
After Hurney was fired in 2012, Beane was named interim general manager. The Panthers went 6-4 in the final 10 games under Beane's leadership. The team then hired Dave Gettleman, but Beane gained some valuable experience.
"Everybody told me there was no way, but I always believed in myself and believed that I could make it happen," Beane told the UNCW website in 2015 of his rise. "I’m very excited and appreciative of this wonderful opportunity."
In a 2016 profile by the UNCW website after the Panthers went to the Super Bowl, Beane, 40, was credited with executing the trades that brought Carolina cornerback Bene Benwikere, wide receiver Devin Funchess and offensive tackle Daryl Williams.
5. He was a candidate for other GM jobs.
Some might look at Beane's hiring as the Bills simply giving McDermott his way and hiring someone the coach will be comfortable with. With matching five-year contracts, it's true that Beane and McDermott will be tied together, and should enjoy a solid working relationship. In January, the San Francisco 49ers interviewed Beane for their opening, looked favorably about what he did in Carolina. The Panthers won five NFC South division titles and two NFC championships in Beane's time with the team.
"Congrats to my guy Beaner!" Panthers linebacker Thomas Davis posted on Instagram on Tuesday. "The @buffalobills got a good one!!"