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Bills hire Joe Schoen as assistant GM

The Buffalo Bills poached a personnel executive from a division rival Sunday morning.

The team announced it has hired Joe Schoen as assistant general manager. Schoen had previously served as the Miami Dolphins' director of player personnel.

Schoen represents the first big hire by new Bills General Manager Brandon Beane, who needs to fill out a scouting staff after the team cleaned house in that department following the draft. Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk, who was first to report the news, said the Dolphins could have blocked the move, but allowed Schoen to take a job he wanted "in order to foster an atmosphere of upward mobility in Miami, with quality work resulting in a reward — even if the reward comes from a division rival."

Schoen spent the past nine seasons in Miami, including the last three as director of player personnel. Before that, he spent one year as the assistant director of college scouting and five years as a national scout.

According to the Dolphins' media guide, Schoen's main job duty as director of player personnel was to serve "as a primary advisor to General Manager Chris Grier on all personnel matters. His responsibilities include assisting in building and managing the Dolphins roster, as well as overseeing both the college and pro scouting departments. Schoen also assists in spearheading the team’s preparation, assessment and acquisition of potential professional and collegiate free agents. He oversees all aspects of the annual NFL draft, including preparation, evaluation and draft board construction while also serving as a key liaison between the coaching staff and personnel staff."

The Bills' interest in Schoen makes sense given that he got his NFL start in Carolina with Beane. He served as an intern in the Panthers' ticket office in 2000 before becoming a scouting assistant one year later. He would later scout the Southeast and Southwest for the Panthers before heading to Miami.

Schoen played in college at DePauw, spending his freshman year at quarterback and the next three years at wide receiver. He was a first-team All-Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference choice as a senior, setting a then-school record with 80 catches. He finished his college playing career with 153 catches for 1,861 yards and 14 touchdowns, graduating with a degree in communications.

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