Exactly two weeks after signing with the Buccaneers, Cole Beasley is leaving Tampa Bay ... and the NFL entirely. The veteran wide receiver appeared in two games for the NFC South contender as a practice-squad call-up, but he's decided ahead of Week 5 to retire from football, his agents told NFL Media Wednesday, citing a desire to "be a full-time dad and husband" at home.
Beasley, 33, spent the entire 2022 offseason surveying his options as a free agent before joining the Buccaneers in late September. With several veterans, including Chris Godwin and Julio Jones, battling injuries in recent weeks, he was promoted from the Bucs' scout team for each of the last two games, catching three passes against the Packers and one against the Chiefs on Sunday. Now, he's calling it a career roughly a quarter of the way through his 11th season.
Undrafted out of SMU in 2012, Beasley spent his first seven years with the Cowboys, emerging as a popular target for both Tony Romo and Dak Prescott out of the slot. His best numbers in Dallas came in 2016, Prescott's rookie year, when he logged 75 catches for 833 yards and five touchdowns while helping the Cowboys to a 13-3 finish.
Beasley is perhaps just as well known for his subsequent three-year run with the Bills, who signed him to a $29 million deal as a free agent in 2019. He was an instant safety valve for Josh Allen, scoring a personal-best six TDs in his Buffalo debut, but emerged even more the following year, when he caught a career-high 82 passes for 967 yards during Buffalo's run to the AFC Championship Game. The veteran also had 82 catches in 2021, before the Bills released him this spring.