Bills, WR Beasley ‘sorted things out’ before signing
ORCHARD PARK, NY — Wide receiver Cole Beasley said there were a few things he wished he had done differently in his first stint with the Buffalo Bills and that he spoke with Bills coach Sean McDermott and general manager Brandon Beane to address any lingering issues before rejoining. with the team.
“The last two years have been difficult for everyone,” Beasley said Wednesday. “I don’t really want to go into all the things we talked about, me and Brandon and Coach McDermott, but there needs to be some conversations there that we need to have. I’m happy that we can all do that as men and talk about it and work things out .”
Beasley, 33, came out of retirement to join the Bills’ practice squad on Tuesday after initially contacting Beane just after Thanksgiving about a possible return to the team despite tweets in early November, “You and me both” to a fan who said they were glad he wasn’t in Buffalo. His three-year tenure at Buffalo (2019-2021) ended after an 11-year veteran wide receiver requested a trade in early March and it was eventually released, a move that saved him more than $6 million in caps space bills.
Before bringing him back to the team, the Bills conducted extensive conversations throughout the building at his will, as they would with any player brought in. Beane said it was unrealistic that he could play Saturday night at home to the Miami Dolphins.
Beasley missed one game last season after testing positive for COVID-19 while not being vaccinated. The wide receiver has been outspoken on social media about his thoughts on the NFL/NFLPA’s COVID-19 policy, including previously threatening to retire and discussing the matter with fans.
“I love the fan base here. There were times last year where I got some stuff from people and it gets a little frustrating just because, well, it wasn’t like that before,” said Beasley. “So it was change. Nothing is perfect. I didn’t handle everything I wanted and a lot of that was a big reason I wanted to come back too. It’s really the world of the internet because outside of that there’s nothing negative for some big.”
During the 2021 season, he decided to delete his Twitter account after labeling it a nuisance. ESPN’s Chris Mortensen reported that Beasley was fined multiple times for violations of COVID-19 protocols.
In November, Beasley tweeted that he did not believe Brooklyn Nets basketball player Kyrie Irving should be suspended for tweeting about a film containing antisemitic content and, in a since-deleted tweet, said he would not miss that part of professional sports.
“We talked about some things on the fringes without getting into our conversation, but I think Cole deep down is a good person and whether you agree with his views or not, at his core, he’s a good person,” Beane said. “And even during his tenure here, even though things weren’t perfect, he was never a bad guy, or anything like that. It was just his way of communicating, and, so, we had the same understanding of what we wanted.” to be with him here and… he sees it the same way.”
Beasley said that there was a free agent opportunity before he signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in September, but neither was what he wanted and he was a bit surprised by the amount of interest. He only played in two games for the Buccaneers with four catches for 17 yards. Beasley said that Tampa was not the situation he thought it would be.
Wide receiver Jamison Crowder (broken ankle) should help the Bills fill in for some of what Beasley does for the team and split the receiving slot with Isaiah McKenzie, but Crowder has been on injured reserve since early October. Wide receiver Jake Kumerow (ankle) is also on injured reserve.
“You want to add players who you think can help your soccer team, so that’s the situation here,” said McDermott. “I think Isaiah has done some good things, Crowder previously did some good things, and we’re seeing if we can improve on some of what we did offensively in this case.”
Signing Beasley, however, is separate from the team’s decision to potentially add free agent wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr., who visited the team between visits to the New York Giants and Dallas Cowboys earlier this month.
“That doesn’t mean we will or won’t do it,” Beane said. “I think right now the timeline has pushed back a bit and made sure that he’s actually ready for action, so right now, we’re just focusing on the people we have but not ruling out if that makes sense further down the road.”