Buccaneers Rumors

Buccaneers WR Cole Beasley To Retire

Cole Beasley played in two Buccaneers games since joining their practice squad in September, but the veteran wide receiver is changing course. The productive slot receiver plans to retire immediately, per Mike Garafolo and Tom Pelissero of NFL.com (on Twitter).

This abrupt retirement will end an 11-year career spent with the Cowboys, Bills and Bucs. Beasley, 33, spent the offseason looking for a new team and sent Tom Brady Instagram DMs about joining the Bucs. So it is obviously surprising to see him call it quits soon after arriving in Tampa. Beasley being separated from his Texas-stationed family led to this retirement call, Jenna Laine of ESPN.com tweets.

Other teams besides the Bucs expressed interest in Beasley. The Commanders, Giants and Panthers pursued Beasley since his Bills release, but the Bucs — dealing with a wide receiver shortage at the time — won out. Beasley caught four passes for 17 yards during his two-game Bucs cameo. The team’s receiver situation has improved as well, which likely would have meant less time for Beasley going forward. Mike Evans re-emerged after his one-game suspension, and injured wideouts Chris Godwin and Julio Jones played against the Chiefs on Sunday night.

Beasley will certainly be better remembered for his time in Dallas and Buffalo. The Cowboys put the SMU product to work as their primary slot receiver for most of the 2010s, with Beasley being the team’s top receiving constant outside of Dez Bryant during that period. The Cowboys extended Beasley on a four-year, $13.6MM deal in March 2015 and saw him produce career-best (at the time) numbers a year later to help Dak Prescott earn Offensive Rookie of the Year acclaim during a 13-3 season. Beasley caught 75 passes for 833 yards and five touchdowns that year.

As Dallas’ Bryant partnership came to an end following the 2017 season, Beasley remained in place as the team transitioned to its Amari Cooper-fronted attack. Preparing for a Cooper payday, the Cowboys let Beasley walk in 2019. Eager to upgrade Josh Allen‘s receiver situation, the Bills paid up for Beasley (four years, $29MM) and John Brown that year. While the latter topped 1,000 yards in 2019, Beasley played a pivotal role in aiding Allen as well. From 2019-20, Beasley totaled 1,471 receiving yards and 10 touchdowns, transitioning to a role as Stefon Diggs‘ sidekick when the Bills swung their blockbuster trade with the Vikings in 2020.

Last season did not bring as much success, and Beasley became a controversial figure as he spoke out regularly against COVID-19 vaccines. Beasley matched his 82 catches from 2020 but checked in at a career-low 8.5 yards per reception. Beasley contracted COVID in December and missed a game, joining many thrust into that position during the pandemic, and the Bills made him a cap casualty ahead of the 2022 league year. The Bills moved on with younger receivers, and Beasley’s retirement further reduces the number of 30-something wideouts left in the NFL. Fellow 2021 Bills contributor Emmanuel Sanders, 35, preceded Beasley by retiring a few weeks ago.

Beasley will wrap his career as one of this era’s top slot targets. For his career, Beasley caught 554 passes for 5,726 yards and 34 touchdowns.

Minor NFL Transactions: 10/1/22

Today’s minor moves around the league, including practice squad elevations for tomorrow’s action:

Arizona Cardinals

Atlanta Falcons

Baltimore Ravens

Buffalo Bills

Carolina Panthers

Chicago Bears

Cleveland Browns

Dallas Cowboys

Denver Broncos

Detroit Lions

Green Bay Packers

Houston Texans

Indianapolis Colts

Jacksonville Jaguars

Kansas City Chiefs

Las Vegas Raiders

Los Angeles Chargers

New England Patriots

New Orleans Saints

New York Giants

New York Jets

Philadelphia Eagles

Pittsburgh Steelers

Seattle Seahawks

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tennessee Titans

Washington Commanders

2022 NFL Cap Space, By Team

As we exit September, trade rumors will become a steady NFL topic. This year’s deadline falls on Nov. 1. That will return cap-space discussions to the forefront. Here is how every team stacks up financially going into October, via Over The Cap.

  1. Cleveland Browns: $35.94MM
  2. Philadelphia Eagles: $10.89MM
  3. Denver Broncos: $10.67MM
  4. Carolina Panthers: $10.47MM
  5. Las Vegas Raiders: $10.35MM
  6. Dallas Cowboys: $9.25MM
  7. Pittsburgh Steelers: $8.64MM
  8. Green Bay Packers: $8.57MM
  9. Indianapolis Colts: $7.97MM
  10. Atlanta Falcons: $7.92MM
  11. New York Jets: $6.97MM
  12. Chicago Bears: $6.84MM
  13. San Francisco 49ers: $6.75MM
  14. Miami Dolphins: $6.51MM
  15. Arizona Cardinals: $6.25MM
  16. Los Angeles Chargers: $5.83MM
  17. New York Giants: $5.49MM
  18. Jacksonville Jaguars: $5.41MM
  19. Los Angeles Rams: $5.38MM
  20. Baltimore Ravens: $4.51MM
  21. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: $3.87MM
  22. New England Patriots: $3.5MM
  23. Cincinnati Bengals: $3.16MM
  24. New Orleans Saints: $2.86MM
  25. Detroit Lions: $2.64MM
  26. Washington Commanders: $2.58MM
  27. Buffalo Bills: $2.44MM
  28. Tennessee Titans: $2.41MM
  29. Seattle Seahawks: $2.28MM
  30. Kansas City Chiefs: $2.12MM
  31. Houston Texans: $1.64MM
  32. Minnesota Vikings: $1.47MM

The Eagles’ number is certainly far closer to the Vikings’ last-place figure than what the Browns have stockpiled. Cleveland would stand to have room to augment its 2022 roster, via a patient free agent or a trade. That could depend on where Jacoby Brissett has the team stationed going into the Nov. 1 deadline. But the Browns also appear to be preparing for their Deshaun Watson future. Watson’s unprecedented contract spikes from a $9.4MM cap number (2022) to a record-shattering $54.99MM numbers from 2023-26. As that reality awaits, the Browns rolling over cap space to 2023 would be prudent.

With Sterling Shepard‘s ACL tear moving the veteran wide receiver to IR, the Giants will need to both cover that cost ($6.3MM) and add a contract to fill the roster spot. Every team will go through versions of that issue this season, as injuries pile up. The Giants are prepared to eat a significant chunk of Kenny Golladay‘s 2022 base salary ($13MM) to move him, eyeing an escape from his $4.5MM 2023 guarantee. No takers have emerged, though it will be interesting to see if a market for the former Pro Bowler forms once injuries affect more teams’ receiver situations.

Since their Jimmy Garoppolo restructure, the 49ers agreed to a two-year extension with Dre Greenlaw. The team is not expected to extend Nick Bosa until 2023, however. The Texans, Falcons, Bears and Eagles all sit north of $60MM in dead money, meaning more than a quarter of their respective cap space is tied to players no longer on the roster. Watson, Matt Ryan and Khalil Mack are responsible for massive dead-money hits on the Houston, Atlanta and Chicago payrolls. Philadelphia still has Alshon Jeffery, Malik Jackson and Brandon Brooks dead money on its cap sheet.

Chiefs-Bucs Matchup To Remain In Tampa

SEPTEMBER 29: Although the Bucs are preparing for the game in Miami, the NFL will keep Sunday’s matchup in Tampa. The Bucs announced that, after coordination with local and state agencies following Hurricane Ian’s impact, the game will be played as scheduled.

SEPTEMBER 28: NFL executive vice president Jeff Miller said the Chiefs-Bucs game remains on schedule for Sunday night in Tampa. However, if this storm forces a change, it will be played Sunday night at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets.

SEPTEMBER 26: With Hurricane Ian heading towards Tampa Bay, the Buccaneers are preparing contingency plans for this weekend’s home game against the Chiefs. The team announced that they’ll practice in Miami for the rest of the week, but there’s been no update to this weekend’s game.

The team will be practicing at the Miami Dolphins’ Baptist Health Training Complex. The Dolphins are expected to depart for Cincinnati on Wednesday, at which time the Buccaneers will be free to use their facilities.

The organization will continue to consult with the NFL and local officials regarding the status of Sunday night’s game against the Chiefs. However, at the moment, there have been no changes to the 8:20 p.m. ET kickoff.

What if the Buccaneers are unable to host Sunday night’s game? Things might get a bit dicey. Per ESPN’s Jeff Darlington on Twitter, the NFL is unlikely to use Miami as a new game site, even with the Dolphins on the road for Week 4. That’s because if Tampa Bay faces “devastating impact,” then the NFL doesn’t want to risk using state resources to relocate the game.

That doesn’t mean the game would be postponed. Instead, the Buccaneers and Chiefs would likely play at a neutral site, with Darlington suggesting Minneapolis. The Vikings will be in London for this weekend’s game against the Saints.

Injury Notes: Mac, Williams, Julio, CMC

Patriots quarterback Mac Jones has decided to seek a second opinion on his high ankle sprain, according to Mike Giardi of NFL Network. After sustaining the injury on the final offensive play of the team’s loss to the Ravens this week, Jones underwent an MRI to determine the severity of the sprain. It is expected, with the resulting diagnosis, that Jones will have to miss some time.

Jones will go to Dr. Martin O’Malley of the New York Hospital for Special Surgery. O’Malley is the team orthopedist for the Brooklyn Nets, the Team Physician for USA Basketball and Iona University Athletics, and the foot and ankle consultant for the Giants and the New York City Ballet. He notably worked recently on cornerback J.C. Jackson‘s ankle surgery, as well as basketball star Kevin Durant’s Achilles surgery in 2019.

Here’s a few more injury rumors from around the league, starting with an update on one of the Jets’ top defenders:

  • Jets linebacker Quincy Williams has also been diagnosed with a high ankle sprain, according to Brian Costello of the New York Post. Williams’ high ankle sprain appears to be a bit less severe than Jones’, as head coach Robert Saleh reported that Williams is currently week-to-week.
  • Buccaneers wide receiver Julio Jones was reportedly a game-time decision to play this past weekend, but ended up spending the game on the sideline. It appears that Jones could have contributed, but Tampa Bay decided to hold him out, according to Greg Auman of The Athletic. Head coach Todd Bowles broke the news, saying, “I just know he could have played (but) we held him out. We want to make sure he’s healthy and he’ll probably be back out there next week.”
  • Fantasy football managers of Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey have resumed sweating. The star weapon for Carolina missed practice today with a thigh injury. According to Jonathan Jones of CBS Sports, the injury has caused a bit of concern for the Panthers, more so than the “previous nicks” that have been reported throughout the season. He’s been able to play through every injury so far this year, but Jones makes it seem like his Week 4 status could be in jeopardy. McCaffrey hasn’t played in all of Carolina’s regular season games since 2019, appearing in 13 games total during the three seasons since. Rumors of an injury being “concerning” is the last thing the Panthers want to hear about McCaffrey. Chuba Hubbard is likely to fill McCaffrey’s role for any potentially missed time, while D’Onta Foreman would serve as the primary backup.

NFL Practice Squad Updates: 9/28/22

Here are the practice squad signings and releases for today:

Baltimore Ravens

Buffalo Bills

Carolina Panthers

Chicago Bears

Green Bay Packers

Kansas City Chiefs

Los Angeles Chargers

New Orleans Saints

New York Giants

New York Jets

Philadelphia Eagles

Seattle Seahawks

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tennessee Titans

  • Signed: OLB Gerri Green

NFL Practice Squad Updates: 9/27/22

Here are Tuesday’s practice squad additions and subtractions:

Baltimore Ravens

Cleveland Browns

Detroit Lions

Indianapolis Colts

  • Signed: CB Ryan Smith
  • Released: LB Forrest Rhyne

Jacksonville Jaguars

Minnesota Vikings

New York Giants

Seattle Seahawks

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Carter spent last season as a full-time Panthers starting linebacker, but after signing a one-year deal with the Chiefs, the vested veteran could not make his new team’s 53-man roster. The former fifth-round pick has 30 career starts. The Browns just lost linebacker starter Anthony Walker for the season.

An NFLer since 2017, Hollister signed with the Raiders this offseason. But the team released him from IR via settlement earlier this month. Hollister, who caught six touchdown passes with the Seahawks from 2019-20, spent last season with the Jaguars.

Smith, 29, spent five years with the Buccaneers, ending that run as a backup cornerback and special-teamer for Tampa Bay’s Super Bowl LV-winning team. A starter for the 2017 and ’18 Bucs, Smith played in four Chargers games last season.

Minor NFL Transactions: 9/26/22

Today’s minor moves:

Buffalo Bills

Carolina Panthers

Dallas Cowboys

New York Giants

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

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.