It looks like the Buffalo Bills could be without Cole Beasley in 2022. He and his agent have requested a trade away from the Bills and Buffalo has let teams know at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis. Mike Garafolo was the first with the report and he confirmed the report with Bills general manager Brandon Beane.
From NFL Now on @nflnetwork: The #Bills have granted permission for WR Cole Beasley to seek a trade, though GM Brandon Beane told me late yesterday the team would welcome him back and “no door has been closed.” pic.twitter.com/NT3wjx6YZR— Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) March 4, 2022
Garafolo says there is interest in Beasley around the league. He’s caught a career-best 82 passes in each of the last two seasons, but his yards per reception was way down in 2021 compared to 2020. His yardage plummeted from a career-high 967 to 693 in 2021 and he had just one touchdown grab.
“They approached us. We listened and have allowed them to seek a trade partner,” Beane told Garafolo of Beasley and his agent. “No door is closed.”
Garafolo speculated that the desire to move was because he had a rocky year with COVID-19, but I find that hard to believe. His story was national, not a Buffalo-centric one. This feels like a contract play, and Garafolo noted Beasley would want a contract extension as part of a trade. Beasley has one year left on his deal and wants an extension and it’s likely Buffalo doesn’t want to do that.
This also could be in response to the Bills asking Beasley to take a pay cut contract restructure as we suggested could be on the table late last month.
Beasley is owed $6.1 million in compensation for 2022 including a $500,000 roster bonus in two weeks. Over the Cap valued his 2021 season at $4.6 million. We suggested a $2.4 million pay cut down to a guaranteed $3.7 million for 2022.
If the Bills trade or release him, he would count $1.5 million against the cap in 2022.
- All-22 Review: Cole Beasley’s 2021 season
- All-22 Review: Isaiah McKenzie’s 2021 season
- Salary cap consequences of releasing Cole Beasley
- Contract projection for Isaiah McKenzie
- In-house replacement options for McKenzie/Beasley
- Free agents available at slot receiver
- NFL Draft options at slot receiver
- Opinion: Bills should use multiple tools to improve slot WR position this offseason