Patriots cut Joe Vellano only days after his house burned down
The NFL can be a cutthroat business and no one perhaps became aware of that more so over the weekend than Joe Vellano, a defensive lineman cut by the New England Patriots on Saturday. Being cut loose by an NFL team is obviously a tough pill to swallow for any player, but for Vellano, it arguably was made doubly worse given he lost his job mere days after his house burned down.
Vellano’s home, located in Attleboro, Mass., was a total loss, reports WRGB. Thankfully no one was injured in the fire that leveled the two-story home.
“There was just nothing they could do,” a witness told WPRI. “That house was a total loss in like five minutes.”
At the time of the fire, Vellano, a defensive lineman, was with the Patriots in New Jersey preparing for the team’s preseason finale against the New York Giants.
Before being cut, Vellano spent two seasons, 2013 and 2014, on the active roster with the Patriots, playing in 21 regular season NFL games, recording 60 tackles and three sacks. He also earned a Super Bowl ring during his tenure with the Patriots before spending the 2015 season on New England’s practice squad.
Given Bill Belichick is not known for allowing emotion or compassion or the like compromise in any way how he approaches his job, some may be inclined to condemn the no-nonsense head coach, along with the Patriots organization, for pulling such an arguably heartless move.
But there’s a good chance situations like the one Vellano had to face happen with more frequency then suspected when NFL teams trim down the roster ahead of any given regular season.
There is an encouraging development for Vellano in the wake of his release. The 27-year-old was picked up by the Atlanta Falcons on Tuesday, although he once again has been relegated to practice squad duties.
[New York Post]