Just three days after losing to the Kansas City Chiefs, Tampa Bay wideout Cole Beasley decided he would call it a career.
Wide receiver Cole Beasley retired from the game of football on Wednesday, and while he never once mentioned the Kansas City Chiefs in his statement saying goodbye to the game he’s infected since 2012, we are pretty sure they loomed large in the decision-making process nonetheless.
Beasley is hardly the only person associated with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers who is doing quite a bit of soul-searching these days. It was only three nights ago that the Chiefs decimated the Bucs on their home turf in primetime in what should have been an inspired performance for their loyal fans in the face of Hurricane Ian and the resulting devastation.
The final score was only a 10-point deficit for Tampa Bay, but anyone who watched the game saw the Chiefs take control from the opening kickoff and never let go. The offense was unstoppable. The defense was sensational. The special teams were excellent. The Chiefs drew a line in the sand that day, a delineation between one franchise with realistic dreams of a Super Bowl and another playing the role of aging contender.
That was apparently enough for Beasley.
It also makes sense that the load Beasley was asked to bear for the Bucs was far too much. Juan Thornhill laid out Mike Evans in the end zone on a textbook hit (despite being flagged) which had to hurt the team’s star. And if he’s hurting, how much more for guys who are already on the injured list—from Russell Gage to Chris Godwin to Breshad Perriman to Julio Jones.
If Beasley were anyone else—one who, say, might have expressed an interest in doing right by his fellow man health-wise—then maybe he’d still be an active player on a team in need of veteran receiving help. But for someone with such strong and informed boundaries around what to do with his body, Beasley is simply not going to be someone who thinks about the common good at his own personal cost.
That’s all well and good, to be honest. Beasley is right in that he has better things to do—flat earth YouTube searches, for one—than to play through the rigors of a regular season for no real glory at the end. The Chiefs are the real contender and Beasley is man enough to admit it. We’re not sure why the rest of the NFL won’t retire in the face of such might, but Beasley has always been his own man.