Countdown to Training Camp: Cole Beasley is 7th Most Valuable Bill

Career highs in receptions and yards made him a second-team All-Pro in 2020.
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Cole Beasley may say and threaten to do some crazy things, but there is no denying his crazy production as a slot receiver for the Buffalo Bills.

The 32-year-old, in fact, is coming off his finest season as a pro, with career highs in targets (107), catches (82), yards (967), yards per reception (11.8) and catch percentage (76.6).

Those numbers were responsible for him being named a second-team All-Pro in 2020. And they were all the more remarkable considering Beasley wasn't even quarterback Josh Allen's most frequent target. That person was fellow wide receiver Stefon Diggs, who led the NFL with 127 receptions and 1,535 yards on his way to being named a first-team All-Pro.

Thus, Beasley ranks seventh on our list of the 30 projected Most Valuable Bills for 2021. Our day-by-day unveiling of the list concludes with the opening of training camp next week in Orchard Park, N.Y.

Beasley came to the Bills in 2019 after spending the first seven years of his career with the Dallas Cowboys.

Though he had always been productive, his two finest seasons have been the last two.

What that portends for 2021 could somewhat depend on how Beasley and the Bills come out the other end of the COVID-19 vaccination controversy the team is in because of the thoughts, words and (in)actions of Beasley and other team leaders like Allen and safety Jordan Poyer. They are among the Bills who have resisted the strong recommendation by the league and the players union, who have combined to incentivize COVID-19 vaccinations for teams that reach an 85% threshold, giving them more freedoms than teams who don't reach that mark.

Beasley not only has refused to get vaccinated but has embarrassed the team with some radically misinformed beliefs about the motives of the league and vaccine manufacturers.

On Tuesday, Beasley offered to get vaccinated if Pfizer cuts his wife in on the profits. He also revealed that a vaccinated teammate was sent home with a COVID-19 infection the day before.

Needless to say, that's not something the team wanted out there on social media.

Back to football, Beasley knows how to get open, knows how to catch and has been getting better with age. That's a combination the Bills hope they'll be able to exploit for at least one more season.

The feeling here is that they will, so long as injuries or the vaccination controversy don't get in the way.

Nick Fierro is the publisher of Bills Central. Check out the latest Bills news at www.si.com/nfl/bills and follow Fierro on Twitter at @NickFierro. Email to Nicky300@aol.com.