Citing desire to not be a “distraction,” Cole Beasley clams up on vaccine issue

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Bills receiver Cole Beasley said plenty last week about the rules regarding vaccinated and unvaccinated players. He now has something more to say: He’s done saying anything about it.

“I said all I needed to say,” Beasley told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. “I’m just living a normal life from here on out. I’m not trying to sway anybody in either direction. That’s what I am doing and that’s the end of it.”

Beasley has no regrets for what he has said, but he has a very good reason for saying nothing more.

“I don’t want [to] be any more of a distraction to my team so that’s where I’m leaving it,” Beasley said.

The key word is distraction. The vaccination issue already has been a distraction for the Bills. If players with different viewpoints keep talking about such a polarizing issue, a full-blown schism could emerge.

Also, Beasley has $5.2 million riding the team deciding to keep him in 2021. If the Bills decide they’re not comfortable keeping Beasley around (ostensibly, the decision would be driven by football reasons), he could be traded to another team. But if, in a climate that has seen the salary-cap fall dramatically due to the pandemic, no one wants to take on his $4.7 million salary and $500,000 in per-game roster bonuses, Beasley could be cut — and then he would be forced to scramble to replace his expected earnings.

Beasley suggested last week that he’ll ignore the rules and pay the fines. In his comments to the Star-Telegram, he doesn’t say whether he will or won’t obey the rules negotiated jointly by the NFL and the NFL Players Association.

If Beasley won’t, the Bills eventually could decide, officially for football reasons, to move on from Beasley and to clear $5.2 million in cash and cap space.

Citing desire to not be a “distraction,” Cole Beasley clams up on vaccine issue originally appeared on Pro Football Talk