Image Credit: (Bill Kostroun/NY Post)
Written by: Nicholas Mullick LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/nicholas-mullick-354076184/
Welcome to another article in my writing series that I call The Stunning Cut. This is a series where I look at cuts in the preseason or in the regular season that stunned many when the news was released. For this one, I went a bit of a different route here as this player mainly was a special teams player and his name is Josh Bellamy. To be honest he was one of the most underrated players in the NFL strictly due to his impact on special teams. I was very happy when he signed with the Jets, but was super stunned when he got cut.
Who is Josh Bellamy?
Josh Bellamy is a wide receiver who in college played in Louisville. He went undrafted in the 2012 NFL Draft but did sign a contract with the Kansas City Chiefs where he spent the season on the practice squad. In 2013 he was on and off both the San Diego Chargers and Washington Redskins. He never could be able to stick on an NFL roster to this point and many thought he would be out of the league until the Chicago Bears came calling. The Bears are known for developing strong players on special teams including Devin Hester (Should 100% be in the Hall of Fame No Question), Johnny Knox, Tarik Cohen, Gale Sayers, Dennis McKinnon, Jerry Azumah, and many more. They did the same with Josh Bellamy who made a play almost anywhere on special teams. He made amazing tackles, kept punts inside the 20, and even was a solid returner. It helped that Bellamy was starting to improve his game on offense and make an impact there as well. Bellamy made some amazing touchdowns as well, my favorite was that 10-yard touchdown against the Green Bay Packers, where he stiff-armed Damarious Randall
I got to say, despite the improvement on offense he was not viewed as valuable on offense as much as he was on special teams. The Bears knew that and when they wanted to get younger, they decided to part ways with him. Luckily he signed a 2 year deal with the New York Jets. In my opinion, Bellamy was one of the most underrated special teams players in the NFL, and was very excited when I saw the Jets resigning him. I thought he would help this team as a veteran presence and serve as a leader on the Jets special teams squad.
The Day He Got Cut
That was unfortunately not the case as the Jets decided to cut ties and release Bellamy on September 9th. I know he dealt with a ton of injuries, but it seemed like it came out of nowhere. Especially as he is a guy that has a lot of experience on special teams and his connections with Adam Gase when they were in Chicago. I thought that he was a lock to make the roster at one point in the offseason and this was a cut that stunned me as a Jets fan. Then again I still was stunned the Jets decided to keep Adam Gase as the Head Coach.
The Aftermath of Getting Cut
A few days passed and well, we got the answer as to why Bellamy got cut. Apparently, news broke that Josh Bellamy was involved with fraud where he had a role in a Paycheck Protection Program scheme. The Paycheck Protection Program basically provides small businesses with loans that would help ease the struggle of the Covid-19 Pandemic. So what happened was that Bellamy took out a 1.2 million dollar loan to help his business Drip Entertainment L.L.C. Problem was that Bellamy was using false information and he spent a chunk of the money on luxury items. Which of course is fraud as you can’t take out a loan for something and use that money for something else. It is quite a coincidence that the Jets made their move to cut Bellamy a few days ago. They had to know that this was coming in order to make that move. Bellamy would not sign with another team as a result of this situation. In 2021 Bellamy was sentenced to 37 months (3 years and 1 month) in prison. Bellemy will never play in the NFL ever again and it is such a shame as he was very underrated in the NFL.