Seven-year NFL veteran Cole Beasley has quietly been one of the better slot receivers in football over the past few seasons. While nobody will confuse him with Julian Edelman, Beasley’s had modest success serving as the short option in the Dallas Cowboys passing game. A free agent for the first time since 2014, will Beasley return to the Cowboys or find a new home for the first time in his NFL career?
2019 NFL Free Agent Profile: Cole Beasley
Beasley finished the 2018 season as the Dallas Cowboys second receiver. While he finished with more yards and reception than any other receiver on the 2018 Cowboys, the passing game clearly ran through Amari Cooper once the receiver arrived in Dallas. Beasley finished his season with 65 receptions for 672 yards and three touchdowns. Again, this wasn’t dominant play, but it was solid production out of the slot.
Throughout his career, Beasley has always averaged around 40-65 receptions for 400-650 yards. His career high in receptions (75) and yards (833) both came during quarterback Dak Prescott’s 2016 rookie season. Beasley’s a little limited, as he doesn’t play outside and struggles to get open deep. That said, he has great lateral quickness and is able to catch passes near the sticks and hold on to the ball while taking a big hit. There’s a market out there for players like that, so Beasley shouldn’t struggle to find a home
Dallas seemed like a realistic fit for Beasley until just a few days ago. Lashing out on Twitter, Beasley proclaimed that the Cowboys front office misused their personnel and forced the ball to other players. Whether this is true or not is irrelevant, as Beasley clearly believes this to be true. He’ll have no interest in going back to Dallas.
Beasley is the third-best slot receiver on the market, clearly behind Golden Tate and probably behind Adam Humphries. He’s nobody’s Plan A, so his destination largely depends on what happens with the other two. The Detroit Lions and Philadelphia Eagles will both want Tate, and whichever team doesn’t get Tate could settle for Beasley.
The New England Patriots seem like a good fit at first glance, as Beasley fits the mold of a Wes Welker/Julian Edelman/Danny Amendola type. However, this match probably won’t ever come to fruition. For one, the Patriots still have Edelman under contract for another season. Put simply, Edelman is better than Beasley, so New England has no reason to lure him with a decent contract. Additionally, Beasley is just two years younger than Edelman, so it’s not like Beasley has that much more left in his tank than the longtime Patriot. The Patriots also have a young slot option in Braxton Berrios on a rookie deal who they’ll want to develop.
Last Word on Cole Beasley in Free Agency
Cole Beasley has put up solid, consistent production ever since arriving in the NFL with the Dallas Cowboys. While he’s not the most prolific receiver of his time by any means, he’s still a solid starter with good hands and a dependable ability to move the chains. He won’t be the first receiver off the market, but he should land a decent role with a respectable paycheck.
One thing’s for sure, Beasley won’t be back with the Cowboys. The seventh-year wide receiver put the Cowboys organization on blast last week, claiming that the front office meddles too much in the offensive affairs. Beasley feels he could do better in a different system, and he’s off to prove himself right with a new team.
Beasley’s future ultimately rests on what happens to the other receivers on the market. Any team in the market for Beasley would rather have Golden Tate, and some might even prefer Adam Humphries. The Philadelphia Eagles and Detroit Lions both want Tate and would probably settle for Beasley if they can’t get their first guy. The New England Patriots are a dark horse, but their current wide receiver situation makes a signing unlikely.
Embed from Getty Images