By Budd Bailey, Buffalo Sports Page Columnist

64. Cole Beasley – Signed by the Bills in 2019

It must have been difficult for Cole Beasley to leave Texas for upstate New York. After all, he had a lot of football success in the South.

Beasley came out of Little Elm, Texas, to play college football at SMU. He was productive – a total of 173 catches for 2,100 yards in his final two years – but he was small at 5-foot-8. That scared off the pro scouts, and he went undrafted in 2012. But the Dallas Cowboys signed him to a contract.

It took Beasley a little time to find a place in pro football. Once he settled in as a slot receiver, he’s been excellent. Beasley set career highs with 75 catches and 833 yards in 2016. The Bills obviously noticed. When Beasley became a free agent in 2019, Buffalo signed him to a four-year deal worth $29 million.

The veteran didn’t miss a beat in his new home. He caught 67 passes for 778 yards and six touchdowns. A few more seasons like that, and Beasley’s name will rise on this list of impactful free agents.

(Follow Budd on Twitter @WDX2BB)

Budd Bailey

Budd Bailey has been involved in almost every aspect of the local sports scene for the last 40 years. He worked for WEBR Radio, the Buffalo Sabres' public relations department and The Buffalo News during that time. In that time he covered virtually every aspect of the area's sports world, from high schools to the Bills and Sabres and everything in between. Along the way, Budd served as a play-by-play announcer for the Bisons, an analyst for the Stallions, and a talk-show host. He won the National Lacrosse League's Tom Borrelli Award as the media personality of the year in 2011, and was a finalist for that same award in 2017. Budd's seventh and eighth books, one on the Transcontinental Railroad and the other about Ichiro Suzuki, are scheduled to be released in the fall.

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