Cole Beasley is shedding light on his decision to leave the Buffalo Bills.
The veteran wide receiver was released on March 17, close to two weeks after the team granted him permission to seek a trade. Beasley spent three seasons with the Bills as one of the team’s most consistent receivers, but his final season was marred by controversy and some apparent tensions with team management.
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Tension Between Bills & Beasley
Over the last five months, Beasley was largely quiet about his decision to split from the Bills. His vocal opposition to vaccine mandates led to high-profile tension with the team and reportedly racked up hefty fines for not adhering to guidelines.
After responding favorably to a picture of Bills quarterback Josh Allen wearing a red helmet at the team’s August 5 intrasquad scrimmage, Beasley responded to some fans that had called him out for his exit from Buffalo. When one fan stepped in to show his appreciation for Beasley, the former Bills receiver clarified that he loved his time in Buffalo but felt it was time for him to leave.
“I appreciate the fans who supported me,” Beasley tweeted on August 7. “The most fun I’ve ever had playing football in Buffalo. My family and I will never forget the memories. Love all of my teammates there. I won’t regret leaving though. Things changed within the organization. It was time for me to move on.”
Beasley Bristled With Fans, League During His Last Season in Buffalo
Beasley didn’t always get along so well with Bills fans. After he expressed concerns about getting the COVID-19 vaccine last year, Beasley accused some Bills fans of booing him for the decision, tweeting on October 4 that they were “yelling at me to get vaccinated and talking s***” while he was on the sidelines.
“Only place I get boo’d is at our home stadium,” Beasley added that day. “Then some of the same people want me to take pictures and sign autographs. I thought Bills fans were the best in the world? Where’d they go? If the vaccine works then why do vaxxed people need to be protected from unvaxxed?”
Many fans pushed back, saying they heard fans cheering Beasley or chanting “Bease!” at him.
Beasley also found trouble with the NFL last season. In December, ESPN’s Chris Mortensen reported that he was fined multiple times for breaking COVID-19 protocols, including a day in August 2021 when league officials were visiting the Bills facility to review the team’s protocols. The fines added up to a sum of close to $100,000, Mortensen reported.
At the time of the December 26 report, Beasley was out due to a COVID-19 test, forcing him to miss a key matchup with the New England Patriots that ultimately determined control of the AFC East. Beasley took to Instagram to blast the league’s rules that required unvaccinated players to test more frequently and follow stricter rules.
“Just to be clear COVID is not keeping me out of this game. The rules are,” he wrote, via ESPN. “Vaxxed players are playing with Covid every week now because they don’t test. One of my vaxxed teammates is in the hospital missing games. I’m sure he didn’t get this same energy. Thank you for those who support. Everyone else, if you don’t get what’s happening then there is nothing anybody can do for you.”