Jets Free Agency: Initial grade and analysis of Josh Bellamy
By Justin Fried
The New York Jets made one of the more surprising moves of the first day of the legal tampering period reportedly signing wide receiver Josh Bellamy.
In one of the lowest-profile signings by any team on the first day of the legal tampering period, The New York Jets have reportedly agreed to a deal with former Chicago Bears receiver Josh Bellamy.
Bellamy’s name is likely unknown to many NFL fans but the seven-year pro has carved out a nice career for himself as a depth receiver and special teams ace. And it’s the latter that likely made him so endearing to the Jets.
Bellamy has just 76 career catches and 999 receiving yards to his name but has earned a sizable reputation as one of the more valuable special teamers in the league. In fact, the Louisville product even has some experience returning kicks which increased his value for the team even more.
Originally entering the league as an undrafted free agent in 2012, Bellamy bounced around between a couple of teams before ending up in Chicago prior to the 2014 season. Bellamy would find pretty much all of his success with the Bears as he recorded no stats prior to being claimed off waivers by them.
The Jets signed Bellamy to a two-year, $7 million contract with $2.75 million guaranteed.
Jets are closing in on a deal with another wide receiver — Chicago's Josh Bellamy, according to @RapSheet. He had 14 catches for 117 yards last year, but has mostly been a special teamer.
— Ralph Vacchiano (@RVacchianoSNY) March 12, 2019
Adam Gase coached Josh Bellamy with the Bears in 2015, the year Bellamy had a mini-breakout as a receiver. There's the connection. #Jets
— Rich Cimini (@RichCimini) March 12, 2019
The Jets have inked WR and special teamer Josh Bellamy https://t.co/FX9HbwuBtL pic.twitter.com/NFVVhfuloA
— SNY (@SNYtv) March 12, 2019
The Bellamy signing came at a weird time where a plethora of big-name players were flying off the market left and right. It’s a little puzzling to see the Jets make a special teams/depth move so early into free agency.
But that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a bad move.
Bellamy is an ace special teamer who will join a Jets special teams unit that was No. 1 in the NFL last season. This signing was likely encouraged by head coach Adam Gase‘s familiarity with Bellamy while in Chicago together but don’t think special teams coordinator Brant Boyer didn’t have a hand in this either.
At the very least, Bellamy provides solid wide receiver depth, something the Jets severely lacked last season. It remains to be seen how this will affect the remainder of the special teams unit, mainly Andre Roberts who remains unsigned.
But for now, the Jets seem to have landed a well-liked, special teams leader for a small deal. Even if it was a bit surprising to see it happen so early in the week.