Sources: Beasley fined $100K for protocol issues

  • ESPN Senior NFL Analyst
  • Joined ESPN in 1991
  • George Polk Award winner; Twice nominated for Pulitzer Prize

Buffalo Bills receiver Cole Beasley has been fined multiple times for COVID-19 protocol violations, reaching a cumulative sum in the range of $100,000, according to league and union sources.

Beasley was fined $14,600 in August on a day league officials were in the facility to review the protocols with the Bills, which the NFL did with all 32 teams before the 2021 season. Beasley was observed by one of the league officials when not complying with mandatory protocols for unvaccinated players.

The $14,600 fine has been doubled on more than one occasion via video monitoring by the league, per sources. One source estimated the fines have reached the sum of $100,000, another source believed it was just short of that amount.

Beasley’s COVID-19 absence for Sunday’s game against the New England Patriots won’t cost him money, though. Under NFL and NFLPA agreement, even unvaccinated players are entitled to their full pay if they miss a game due to COVID. Beasley makes $4.7 million in base salary, so he still will receive his $261,111 game check. There are several team execs who believe it’s one loophole that needs to be revisited for 2022, believing an unvaccinated player who lands of the reserve/COVID-19 list should not be paid if he misses a game or games. This is the first time Beasley has landed on the list.

A Bills official declined comment on the matter.

Beasley was unavailable for immediate reaction but he has taken to Instagram twice this week to state his beliefs. “Just to be clear COVID is not keeping me out of this game. The rules are,” he wrote in a Tuesday post. “Vaxxed players are playing with Covid every week now because they don’t test. One of my vaxxed teammates is in the hospital missing games. I’m sure he didn’t get this same energy. Thank you for those who support. Everyone else, if you don’t get what’s happening then there is nothing anybody can do for you.”

Teammate Jon Feliciano, who remains on the COVID-19 list after being added just before last week’s game against the Panthers, posted on Twitter on Tuesday that he “ended up in the ER on Sunday.” He confirmed in a separate post that he’s the teammate “in the hospital” that Beasley referenced in his post.

On the eve of Sunday’s game, Beasley posted a photo of himself, with a smile that was missing a tooth, and wrote, “Just checking in everybody. I’m still partying. Be back soon. Hate it or love it. Go Bills!”

Beasley was placed on the COVID-19 list Tuesday after testing positive. Fellow Bills wide receiver Gabriel Davis, who is also unvaccinated, tested positive Friday and will also miss next week’s game against the Atlanta Falcons.

Beasley has not been shy about sharing his thoughts on social media regarding the COVID-19 vaccine and the NFL and NFLPA’s protocols. He has said that he does not have a problem with people being vaccinated or unvaccinated, but that the ability to choose is important to him.

“I’m not anti- or pro-vax — I’m pro-choice,” Beasley said in July. “With that being said, the issue at hand is information being withheld from players in order for a player to be swayed in a direction he may not be comfortable with.”

ESPN’s Alaina Getzenberg contributed to this report.

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