Buffalo Bills wide receiver Cole Beasley has forfeited around $100,000 because of violations of the NFL's COVID-19 protocols, according to ESPN's Chris Mortensen.
The veteran pass-catcher received a fine in August for failing to follow the masking guidelines at the Bills facility. Mortensen reported that was the first of many to come:
Beasley earns a $4.7 million base salary this season and collected another $2.7 million in various bonuses.
Losing out on six figures of potential earnings doesn't appear to have swayed the 32-year-old, who voiced his opposition to the COVID-19 vaccine in June. One month later, he said he wasn't "anti- or pro-vax" but instead "pro-choice."
The Bills placed Beasley on the reserve/COVID-19 list Tuesday, ruling him out for Sunday's AFC East clash with the New England Patriots. He addressed the situation on Instagram, writing that "Covid is not keeping me out of this game" but that "the rules are":
"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."
The NFL and NFL Players Association agreed to alter the protocols with numerous players landing on the reserve/COVID-19 list amid the spread of the omicron variant. Vaccinated players can return more quickly under the new rules, and asymptomatic players aren't required to be regularly tested if they're vaccinated.
In the case of unvaccinated players, the rules remain the same. Unvaccinated players who test positive for COVID-19 remain away from their respective team for at least 10 days.
Mortensen noted that unvaccinated players who miss games while on the reserve/COVID-19 list don't lose out on their game check. He spoke to multiple team executives who believe that is "one loophole that needs to be revisited for 2022."