Cole Beasley

Buccaneers WR Cole Beasley Fielded Multiple Offers

Cole Beasley is currently making his Buccaneers debut, one which could help the receiver-needy team in at least the short-term future. While weighing his options prior to signing in Tampa, though, the veteran reportedly received interest from multiple teams. 

According Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio, the Giants, Panthers and Commanders “have tried to sign” the 33-year-old. He adds that New York was the most “persistent” of the trio in their pursuit of Beasley, something which comes as little surprise given recent news concerning the team’s situation at the position.

The Giants have been on the lookout for veteran additions at wideout, with head coach Brian Daboll meeting with potential candidates. He and Beasley were together in Buffalo for three years, a stretch which included the former UDFA’s most productive season (82 catches, 967 yards, four touchdowns in 2020). A reunion in the Big Apple would have allowed Beasley to give the team another experienced option to compliment the likes of Kenny Golladay and Darius Slayton.

Florio notes, however, that the Giants’ offers were around the league minimum. That unsurprisingly turned Beasley elsewhere, leaving them with a complicated situation at the position. Golladay and Slayton have spent significant time on the bench so far this season, with the likes of David Sills and second-round rookie Wan’Dale Robinson in line for greater playing time. Their performances tomorrow night could go a long way in determining the front office’s approach with respect to free agent additions.

The Panthers already had a pair of proven pass-catchers in D.J. Moore and Robbie Anderson before acquiring Laviska Shenault in the build-up to the season. That trio, along with 2021 second-rounder Terrace Marshall Jr.led to heightened expectations for the team, though they averaged less than 200 yards in the air through the first two games of the season. Things remained similar earlier today with quarterback Baker Mayfield throwing for 170 yards, potentially signaling that Carolina’s in-house options could be insufficient.

Washington, meanwhile, entered the season with improvements in their WR room. A healthy Curtis Samuelalong with first-round rookie Jahan Dotson, were touted as effective secondary options to Terry McLaurin. The Commanders entered today ranking second in the league in passing yards, though the offense struggled in a loss to the Eagles.

With Beasley simply being elevated from the Buccaneers’ practice squad, rather than signed to their active roster, he will still be eligible to sign with any other team. If he impresses today, though, the aforementioned clubs may come to regret not making a stronger push to land him.

Buccaneers Promote WR Cole Beasley

Only a few days after joining the Buccaneers practice squad, Cole Beasley has been promoted to the active roster. The Buccaneers announced that they’ve elevated the veteran wideout to the game-day roster. Rookie offensive guard John Molchon was also promoted from the taxi squad.

[RELATED: Buccaneers To Sign WR Cole Beasley To PS]

After going unsigned through training camp, preseason, and the first couple of weeks of the regular season, Beasley finally landed on Tampa Bay’s practice squad on Tuesday. The 33-year-old started to show signs of age during his final season in Buffalo in 2021, with his 693 yards and one touchdown serving as his lowest marks during his tenure with the Bills.

Still, he managed to tie a career-high with 82 receptions. With a career catch rate of 71 percent, he’ll at least provide Tom Brady with a sure-handed option this weekend against the Packers. Plus, for what it’s worth, ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler tweets that Beasley joined the Buccaneers in excellent shape and has already established a connection with his QB.

Beasley’s presence will be sorely needed tomorrow, as the team is eyeing a questionable WR grouping for the second-straight weekend. We know for sure that Brady’s top two wideouts will be out on Sunday, with Mike Evans serving a one-game suspension and Chris Godwin still sidelined with a hamstring injury. Julio Jones is a game-time decision with a knee injury, and Russell Gage is questionable while dealing with a hamstring issue. With such a depleted WR corps, Beasley could end up leading a depth chart that also consists of Breshad Perriman, Scotty Miller, Jaelon Darden, and Kaylon Geiger.

Molchon was undrafted out of Boise State in 2020. He’s spent much of his professional career on Tampa Bay’s practice squad.

Buccaneers To Sign WR Cole Beasley To Practice Squad

Cole Beasley‘s desire to land on a contending team and Tampa Bay’s uncertainty at the wide receiver position have resulted in a deal. The veteran is joining the Buccaneers’ practice squad with the expectation that he will soon be elevated to the 53-man roster, reports Mike Garafolo of NFL Network (Twitter link). 

Beasley, 33, was reported to be fielding offers last week. He is coming off of the least-productive of his three seasons in Buffalo, a campaign which still saw him make 82 catches, resulting in 693 yards and one touchdown. Overall, his Bills tenure demonstrated the durability and consistency he has become known for, making it little surprise that he was the subject of free agent interest.

Likewise, it was hardly newsworthy that the former UDFA was remaining patient on the open market while eyeing a spot on a Super Bowl-caliber team. Garafolo notes that Tom Brady made a push for Tampa Bay to add another veteran, and that Beasley was a preferred target of his. Beasley could see immediate playing time, given the team’s current lack of availability at wideout.

Both Chris Godwin and Julio Jones are nursing injuries which kept them sidelined for Tampa’s Week 2 games against the Saints, leaving their status for Week 3 uncertain. The same is also true of Mike Evans, who is appealing the one-game suspension he was issued yesterday for his involvement in the latest altercation between he and Marshon Lattimore. If he were to lose the appeal, Tampa could face the Packers on Sunday without all three starters.

In the absence of Godwin in particular, Beasley could find himself seeing a notable workload in the slot. He, along with Russell Gage, Breshad Perriman and Scotty Miller would constitute the pass-catching array available to Brady in at least the short-term. The latter in particular has been thought to be on the roster bubble dating back to the end of training camp, and played only a rotational role on Sunday despite the Buccaneers’ injuries.

This deal will surely come in at a far lower figure than the $7.6MM Beasley averaged per season with the Bills. Still, it could prove to be a fruitful investment for the team, and a rewarding commitment on his part.

Cole Beasley Receiving Free Agency Offers; WR Hopes To Land With Contender

One of the league’s better slot receivers over the past decade, Cole Beasley is unsigned ahead of what would be his age-33 season. But the former Cowboys and Bills pass catcher remains on the NFL radar.

Nearly two months after a report indicated Beasley was drawing interest on the market, ProFootballNetwork.com’s Aaron Wilson notes the 10-year veteran has received multiple offers. While it is not known which teams have submitted contract proposals to Beasley, Wilson adds the Houston native would like to land with a contender.

Given the timing here, Beasley is likely not receiving especially lucrative offers. Having earned nearly $40MM in his career, the former UDFA has been patient on the market. A team’s injury situation could change the equation. That has begun to happen for veterans at other positions.

Nine-time Pro Bowl tackle Jason Peters signed with the Cowboys, who lost Tyron Smith for an extended stretch. Fellow offensive linemen Brandon Shell, Oday Aboushi and Billy Price caught on with teams this week. Justin Simmons‘ injury led the Broncos to bring in Anthony Harris, and the Raiders added veteran slot cornerback Nickell Robey-Coleman. Each of these deals are practice squad agreements, but it would not surprise if most or all of these players are promoted to their respective teams’ 53-man rosters soon.

This summer, Beasley was eyeing a deal north of the league minimumDuane Brown saw an injury (to Mekhi Becton) lead to a two-year, $20MM Jets deal. That has been the top prize for recent injury-induced additions. Despite Beasley having been productive on a four-year, $29MM Bills contract from 2019-21, it will be hard for him to come close to those terms at this juncture. But interest remains in a proven player.

The Bills made Beasley a cap casualty earlier this year and have turned to cheaper veterans Isaiah McKenzie and Jamison Crowder to replace him. Beasley totaled 2,438 receiving yards and 11 touchdown receptions in three Buffalo seasons — including a 967-yard year in 2020. Excluding special-teamers, A.J. Green (34) and Julio Jones (33) are the only wide receivers 33 or older on active rosters. Although a few wideouts played at age 33 or older in 2021, most of that contingent is out of the league presently. Emmanuel Sanders and Danny Amendola retired recently, and DeSean Jackson said earlier this year he is leaning that way. Antonio Brown‘s latest explosive divorce from a team has the talented 34-year-old receiver unemployed.

WR Cole Beasley Drawing Interest

It sounds like Cole Beasley won’t be unsigned for much longer. According to NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo (on Twitter), the veteran wideout has drawn “significant” interest around the NFL.

Beasley was released by Buffalo earlier this offseason after the team and the player unsuccessfully found a new home for the receiver. As Garafolo notes, the Bills considered re-signing Beasley once he was cut, but the receiver continues to hold out for the right opportunity. That “right opportunity” goes beyond a clear spot on the depth chart; Garafolo mentions that Beasley is also seeking at least a modest payday and won’t settle for a minimum contract.

The former undrafted free agent spent his first seven seasons in Dallas. He started 22 of his 103 games for the Cowboys, mostly serving as a secondary target on offense. He did have a standout campaign in 2016, hauling in 75 receptions for 833 yards and five touchdowns. Beasley signed a four-year deal with the Bills in 2019, and he saw a significant increase in targets during his three seasons in Buffalo (325 vs. 450 in Dallas). Beasley hauled in 231 receptions for Buffalo, and he added another 25 receptions in six playoff games.

This past season, Beasley started eight of his 16 appearances, hauling in 82 receptions for 693 yards and one touchdown. Despite the 2021 campaign being his age-32 season, his 82 catches tied a career-high (from the year before). Beasley landed just about in the middle of the pack on Pro Football Focus’ ranking of wide receivers (59/115), but his score was partly dragged down by poor run-blocking metrics. While the wideout is clearly getting up there in age, he’s proved that he can still be productive, so it shouldn’t be long until a WR-needy team gives Beasley the contract he desires.

Titans Eyeing Another WR Addition?

The receiver room has seen plenty of turnover in Tennessee this offseason. Despite the changes already made, more could be on the way in the near future. 

According to Jim Wyatt of TennesseTitans.com, there is a strong chance of “another addition before the season at receiver”. The top of the depth chart at this time last season consisted of A.J. Brown and Julio Jones, of course, but that led to mixed results on the field.

Despite having the worst statistical season of his three-year career, Brown easily led the team in receiving yards with 869. Jones, meanwhile, was only able to suit up for ten contests and likewise had a career-worst season. Overall, the team ranked 23rd in the league in the passing game; as the AFC’s top seed, however, they were obviously able to enjoy a high degree of success without an efficient aerial attack.

Not surprisingly, given his injury troubles and lack of production, Jones was released in March. That left the team looking – for the second straight offseason – for a new compliment to Brown, after seeing Corey Davis depart in free agency one year earlier. Days later, they traded for Robert Woods with the aim of accomplishing that very goal.

Woods had become expendable for the Rams, given their signing of Allen Robinson and potential reunion with Odell Beckham Jr. However, when he makes his Titans debut, he won’t be doing so alongside Brown, as the team envisioned when they acquired him. After it became clear a new contract couldn’t be agreed upon with the latter, he was traded to the Eagles in exchange for a first round pick during Day 1 of the draft.

With that selection, the Titans added Treylon Burks. One of the most unique receiving prospects in this year’s class, he should have a clear path to playing time alongside Woods and returnee Nick Westbrook-Ikhine. Other than Beckham, remaining free agents include Will Fuller, T.Y. Hilton and Cole Beasley. Any of those could provide a short-term boost to the passing game as the Titans look to integrate new receiving pieces into their offense.

Bills Release Cole Beasley

In an expected move, the Bills are moving on from one of the most experienced pieces of their offense. The team announced they have released receiver Cole Beasley

[RELATED: Bills, Von Miller Agree To Deal]

Beasley, 32, started his career in Dallas in 2012; he joined the team as a UDFA. In seven seasons there, he established himself as a productive secondary option in the team’s passing attack. His best season there came in 2016, where he posted 75 catches for 833 yards and five touchdowns.

Having built a reputation as one of the league’s best slot receivers, he signed a four-year, $29MM deal with the Bills in 2019. He received no less than 106 targets in each of his three campaigns in Buffalo, setting new career highs in receptions (82), yards (967) and yards per catch (11.8) in 2020.

However, he was due to make $6.1MM in 2022, with a cap hit of just over $7.5MM. That led the team to allow him to seek a trade earlier this week. Obviously, a partner couldn’t be found, so the SMU product will now hit the open market. The Bills still have Stefon Diggs, Gabriel Davis and Isaiah McKenzie at the top of the WR depth chart. They also have Dawson Knox and the recently-acquired O.J. Howard at the tight end spot.

The move saves the Bills just over $6MM. Given the money invested in their new additions – most notably Von Miller – they could certainly use the cap relief. For Beasley, meanwhile, he will join a free agent WR class still featuring Allen Robinson, but also another veteran slot option in Jarvis Landry.

Bills Re-Sign WR Isaiah McKenzie

The Bills have agreed to terms on a new two-year contract with wide receiver Isaiah McKenzie, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN. The deal is reportedly worth $8MM, the biggest payday McKenzie has seen in his five-year career. 

McKenzie was picked up by the Bills off waivers after being waived by the Broncos, who drafted him in the 5th round of the 2017 NFL Draft. After finishing out that initial contract in Buffalo, he rode out two one-year deals in 2020 and 2021 worth around $1MM each.

His first year in Buffalo saw him used as the primary kick returner and a bit of a gadget player on offense, receiving and helping out in the rushing game after injuries to running backs LeSean McCoy and Chris Ivory. In his first full season as a Bill, his returner role was diminished with the addition of Andre Roberts, but he continued as a special teamer and gadget player, even contributing in Week 17 as a reserve cornerback.

After re-signing on his first one-year deal in Buffalo, McKenzie saw his most productive season in 2020. McKenzie saw career highs in receptions (30), receiving yards (282), and receiving touchdowns (5). He also recorded his first special teams touchdown on an 84-yard punt return.

The 2021 NFL season didn’t see a large change in McKenzie’s offensive production, but he re-cemented his role as the team’s return specialist, which appears to be the basis for his new contract. McKenzie did see his role on the offense increase a bit when Cole Beasley missed time due to COVID-19.

With star-receiver Stefon Diggs and Beasley set to return, along with Gabriel Davis who emerged as the team’s third receiver for the future, this signing gives the Bills a solid one through four in their receiving corps, with McKenzie set to continue handling return duties.

AFC East Rumors: Bills, Jets, Douglas, Jackson

On Friday, New York Governor Kathy Hochul made comments that all but guaranteed that an agreement for a new stadium for the Bills will be made soon, according to Mike Florio of NBC Sports.

Highmark Stadium (previously Rich Stadium, Ralph Wilson Stadium, and New Era Field) has been the home of the Bills since 1973. The Bills’ current lease on Highmark expires in 2023 and the franchise has been pushing with many government entities to build them a shiny, new stadium. The team has used the very real looming threat that there are plenty of other markets in the country that can support an NFL franchise.

Hochul commented on that threat saying, “That’s why we’re negotiating very intently, to make sure we have the right outcome for this community.” The new stadium will partially be funded by the public to the tune of about $850MM. The Governor claims that a deal will be done by April 1, in time for the annual budget.

Here are a few other rumors from around the AFC East, starting with a couple of notes that keep us in the Empire State:

  • The Jets are planning to use this offseason to add some weapons to the roster for quarterback Zach Wilson. They currently have Corey Davis and Elijah Moore sitting atop the depth chart. They would love to bring back Braxton Berrios as a fourth-receiver/gadget player and they haven’t yet given up on Denzel Mims. Still, New York will have ample opportunity to add a potential No. 1 receiver to the roster, according to SNY’s Ralph Vacchiano. The free agent market is home to many household names like Chris Godwin, Allen Robinson, Mike Williams, and, potentially, Amari Cooper. Players like Calvin Ridley and Cole Beasley have been rumored to be available via trade. The 2022 NFL Draft is also so rich in talented receivers that many believe some first round talent could fall to the second round where the Jets have two high picks, if they don’t choose to take a top prospect like Garrett Wilson or Drake London with the 10th overall pick.
  • That being said, Vacchiano also reports that, despite their vast spending ability, general manager Joe Douglas has been preaching the maintenance of financial flexibility. Though the Jets rank in the Top 5 in the NFL in salary cap space, Douglas rejected the notion that their $50-60MM in cap space will be dedicated to big spending in free agency. Douglas acknowledged free agency as just one of “a lot of different tools to improve your roster” and pointed to the Bengals as an example of responsible free agent spending. “I think Cincy did great in free agency last year,” he said. “They didn’t blow the doors off in terms of signing super high-priced guys. They brought in guys who fit exactly what they wanted to do.”
  • According to Mike Giardi of NFL Network, Patriots’ cornerback JC Jackson is likely headed for free agency with some lofty expectations. While Jackson still likes the Patriots, money is a big factor for the 26-year-old. Giardi claims that Jackson is strictly seeking compensation similar to Jalen Ramsey. New England won’t bring that money to the table and it sounds like they won’t be utilizing their franchise tag on Jackson, either. That information could lead to a tag and trade situation if other teams aren’t willing to shell out for Jackson in free agency.

Bills Permit Cole Beasley To Seek Trade

Cole Beasley could be on his way out of Buffalo. The Bills have granted the wide receiver permission to seek a new club (Twitter link via NFL.com’s Mike Garafolo), paving the way for a potential trade. 

[RELATED: Latest On Trubisky’s Market]

Neither side has offered further comment on the matter, though Beasley and the team reportedly clashed throughout the year. Beasley, who will turn 33 on April 26th, was still productive in 2021 with 82 catches for 693 yards and one touchdown. He also managed 82 catches in 2020, though that was a more efficient campaign — his 82/967 line averaged out to a career-high 11.8 yards per grab. Last year, he had just 8.5 yards per reception, tying his career low.

Beasley has one year to go on his four-year, $29MM pact. As it stands, he’s set to count for $7.6MM against the Bills’ books, but a trade or release would leave the team with just $1.5MM in dead money versus $6.1MM in savings.

That’s a decent chunk of change, one that could be put towards larger expenditures like Rob Gronkowski. The Bills are reportedly interested in signing the 32-year-old as a free agent and he may be open to a move following Tom Brady‘s retirement. It also helps that Gronk is a Buffalo-area native who grew up as a Bills fan. Gronkowski, 32, managed 55 catches for 802 yards last year despite missing five games while injured.