‘What happens in the next month or so’ could decide whether former NFL All-Pro Vic Beasley comes to the CFL

Courtesy: AP Photo/Gregory Payan

The Redblacks have been in contact with one-time NFL All-Pro Vic Beasley since adding him to their exclusive negotiation list on Tuesday, February 8.

Ottawa general manager Shawn Burke was not about to say whether Beasley will be playing in the CFL during the 2022 season.

“We have ongoing conversations with everyone on our neg list, so I wouldn’t put any prediction on if he will be or not. Like everyone on our list, he’s a football player that we evaluated that we believe can potentially help us down the road,” Burke said.

During 88 career NFL games, Beasley recorded 160 tackles, 46 quarterback hits, 37.5 sacks, 12 forced fumbles, 12 passes defended, two fumbles recovered, two defensive touchdowns and one interception. He collected over $37 million playing in the NFL and despite the earnings has shown an interest for potentially playing north of the border in the CFL.

“Sometimes those discussions happen at a quicker pace and sometimes they’re a little longer. I know Brendan Taman had reached out originally to his group and they’re conversing. Vic’s going to see, much like probably 20 other guys on our list right now, what happens in the next month or so and go from there,” Burke said.

The 29-year-old Beasley last played a regular season game in December 2020 but he has not been on an NFL team since the Las Vegas Raiders elected not to re-sign him following that season. He’s been a free agent ever since and Beasley nor his agents have told the Redblacks that the six-foot-three, 246-pound pass rusher will never play in the CFL, so there’s a chance it happens.

Courtesy: AP Photo/ Richard Shiro

Beasley played his NCAA football at Clemson University where he appeared in 48 games. He is the Tigers all-time sack leader with 33 career to go with 101 tackles, 52.5 tackles for loss, 29 quarterback pressures, 11 passes defended, seven forced fumbles, two recovered fumbles and one defensive touchdown. The Adairsville, GA native was a two-time consensus All-American and 2014 Atlantic Coast Conference Defensive Player of the Year.

During the 2015 NFL Combine, Beasley displayed his explosive athleticism. He recorded a 4.53 time in the 40-yard dash, 4.15 shuttle, 6.91 three-cone, 41-inch vertical, 10-foot, 10-inch broad jump and 35 reps of 225 pounds on the bench press. Beasley was selected eighth overall by Atlanta in the 2015 NFL Draft and led the NFL with 15.5 sacks during his sophomore season, helping the Falcons reach Super Bowl LI while earning first-team All-Pro honours.

That’s the type of production the Redblacks are hoping Beasley could provide if he comes to the CFL. It would certainly be worth the wait for Ottawa who could use help rushing the passer.

Justin Dunk is a football insider, sports reporter and anchor.