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Buffalo Bulletin: Bills Bring Back Cole Beasley

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I’ll be the first to admit that this isn’t what I envisioned after Cole Beasley left the Buffalo Bills in early 2022, considering the circumstances of his exit and his innumerable comments on the organization since his departure. It seemed to be a burned bridge. Evidently, repairs were made.

Cole Beasley Buffalo Bills Josh Allen
David Eulitt/Getty Images

Cole Beasley is officially coming out of his short-lived retirement for one last go with the Buffalo Bills. He will be on the practice squad initially, with the expectation to be called up soon.

Acquiring Our Former Slot WR

Per Louie Del Rio of News 4 Buffalo (WIVB), QB Josh Allen pushed for the reacquisition of both former Bills receivers John Brown and now Cole Beasley.

The Bills have struggled out of the slot all season, and our beloved QB has been in desperate need of a safety net. It may be surprising that we went for Cole Beasley, but the move for a WR was an expected one.

Speculation raged Monday night after Beasley was spotted on a plane to Buffalo. The Bills made the move official Tuesday morning.

The Receiver We Knew

To say that Beasley’s impact on Josh Allen’s game was massive is an understatement. In 2019, the organization faced massive criticism for buying two ‘mediocre’ receivers instead of investing resources into a single great one. John Brown and Cole Beasley both followed up with career years. Brown took a backseat to Stefon Diggs in 2020, but Beasley stood firm.

In his first stint in Buffalo, he put up a phenomenal stat line. He played through a broken leg in the 2020 playoffs. He threw his body on the line again and again, and Josh Allen trusted him. There were off the field issues, but that was where they stayed. When it came to the game, Beasley was a professional.

Cole Beasley Buffalo Bills Stefon Diggs Josh Allen
AP Photo/Rick Scuteri

Over 46 regular season games, he stacked up 231 catches for 2,438 yards and 11 TDs. His 71.1% catch rate was one of the highest we had in that span, and his playoff performances were always needed.

His conflict with the organization may still rear its head, but that’s the risk this front office has chosen to take.

What We’re Getting From Cole Beasley

The Cole Beasley we knew from 2019-2021 was a force of nature, turning third downs into first downs and broken plays into breathtaking ones. We shouldn’t expect that same level of production, but the improvisational nature of his connection with Josh Allen cannot be overstated.

After he was released by the Bills, following a failed attempt to find a trade partner, Beasley sat on the market for a while. Be it general lack of interest or a high price tag, he wasn’t the attractive option he used to be. He signed with Tampa Bay’s practice squad midseason and played two game, recording four catches before announcing his retirement.

Cole Beasley Tampa Bay Buccaneers Retirement
 DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD/TB Times 

Beasley had major injury issues over the last year and a half of his tenure in Buffalo. He may have played well, but the NFL is tough when you’re 33 years old. His play saw a real decline in 2021. After a year on the couch, we should expect him to produce at a lower capacity, with a significantly reduced snap count.

We can expect him to be activated to the roster, but he won’t be the ‘Third & Cole’ we knew. Still, if there’s any magic left in the tank, we should milk it as much as we can as the Buffalo Bills compete for a Super Bowl title.

Like this piece? Check out the previous Buffalo Bulletin on the Dawson Knox problem!

The Buffalo Bulletin on Buffalo Fanatics is a weekly editorial by Iestyn Harris. Check back regularly for hot topics, riveting discussion, and, occasionally, some actual insight.

Featured Image: Bryan M. Bennett/Getty Images

One of the owners The Sports Wave, and a Journalist at Buffalo Fanatics, I'm an English immigrant living in Canada. A huge Buffalo Bills fan, I also love my Boston Celtics, Toronto Blue Jays, and Queens Park Rangers.