Former Bills WR Suddenly Announces Retirement at Age 33: Report

Cole Beasley

Getty Wide receiver Cole Beasley, formerly of the Buffalo Bills.

Former Buffalo Bills wide receiver Cole Beasley spent the summer weighing his options as a free agent before signing with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in mid-September. However, after just two games with the new franchise, the 33-year-old veteran has decided to hang up his cleats for good.

NFL Network‘s Mike Garafolo was first to break the news on Wednesday, October 5 that Beasley was retiring, which came as a huge surprise since the receiver recently announced that that would be the last thing he does this year.

“I’m not retiring,” he tweeted in August in response to a fan asking if he intended to play… I still feel like I have a lot left in the tank man.” Beasley has since deleted his Twitter account. In two games with the Buccaneers, Beasley caught four passes for 17 yards.

Garafalo tweeted, “Beasley has decided to retire, his agents Joel and Justin Turner (@yourNFLAgent) tell me and @TomPelissero. ‘He is ready to be with his family after playing in 11 seasons and it’s time to be a full-time dad and husband,’ Justin Turner says.” Beasley shares three children with his wife, Kyrstin Beasley.

Beasley, who went undrafted out of SMU in 2012, played for the Dallas Cowboys for the first six years of his career before signing with the Bills in 2019. During his first year in Buffalo, Beasley recorded 67 receptions for 778 yards and six touchdowns. In 2020, he tallied 82 catches for 967 yards with four touchdowns. In 2021, Beasley once again caught 82 receptions, but for 693 yards and only one touchdown. His yards per catch (8.45) was the worst of his career.

In March, Beasley sought permission from the Bills to seek a trade, but no offers came to fruition. That same month, Buffalo released Beasley which saved the team $6.1 million in cap space.

The reaction to Beasley’s sudden retirement was mixed. NBC Sports reporter Albert Breer tweeted, “Really solid career. This is how it ends for some guys—hanging around for that last shot, then realizing you’ve had enough,” while a fan wrote, “Beasley cried all off-season about how no team would give him a call then he came back for two weeks and retired lmao.”

On August 28, Beasley clapped back at people on Twitter making jokes about him still being a free agent. “All these ‘unemployed’ jokes like I don’t have the skill anymore,” Beasley tweeted. “You don’t go from drawing double teams in the playoffs to not having it anymore within a few months. I still grabbed 80 catches with 3 broken ribs for half of them. No games missed. Don’t get it twisted.”

Joel E Turner, Beasley’s agent tweeted on Wednesday, “We @yourNFLAgent could not be prouder of Cole Beasley!!!! We are forever thankful to him for allowing us to be a part of his and his family’s lives for over a decade!! Many thanks as well to @dallascowboys @BuffaloBillsand @Buccaneers!! Congratulations on a marvelous career!!!!”

Beasley Became a Polarizing Figure During His Last Season in Buffalo

Beasley’s final year in Buffalo was tumultuous. Not only did he accuse Bills fans booing him at Orchard Park, but remained of the most outspoken anti-vax players in the NFL. In August of last year, Beasley said he’d rather die than get the vaccine.

In December 2021, Beasley tested positive for COVID-19 and was forced to miss one of the most important games of the Bills’ season. The winner of the Bills vs. Patriots game in Week 16 decided the top seed in the AFC East and secure the winner’s spot in the postseason. A loss for the Bills had them kissing the playoffs goodbye.

Beasley’s firm stance on not getting vaccinated didn’t just affect his team, but his bank account. The Mort Report‘s Chris Mortensen reported, “Bills receiver Cole Beasley has been fined multiple times for Covid protocol violations for a cumulative sum in the range of $100,000 per league and union sources. Beasley was fined $14,600 in August on a day league officials were in the facility to review the protocols.”

“The $14,600 fine has been doubled on more than one occasion via video monitoring by the league,” Mortensen continued. “One source estimated the $100,000 total sum, another source believed it was just short of that amount.”

Beasley continued to stand by his stance in August, calling out Bills legend Bruce Smith for encouraging players to get vaccinated.

Beasley Said Being a Member of the Bills was ‘The Most Fun I’ve Had’ Playing Football

In August, Beasley broke his silence about his departure from Buffalo while speaking to a fan on Twitter.

“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.”