Here’s some interesting news: the Patriots have claimed tight end Jake Ballard off waivers, according to Ballard’s agent, Blake Baratz.
Ballard was waived/injured by the Giants on Monday; he suffered a torn ACL in Super Bowl XLVI against New England after pulling in two catches for 10 yards in the game.
The 6-foot-6, 275 pound Ohio State product had 38 regular-season catches last year, his first full season in the NFL; the Giants signed Ballard as an undrafted rookie in 2010, but he played in just one game.
It seems that the Giants had every intention of bringing Ballard back to the team once he cleared waivers, and would then place him on either the physically unable to perform list or injured reserve, and in fact, the tight end was at New York’s facility late Tuesday afternoon.
Then the news came that he’d been claimed by New England.
Ballard underwent both ACL and microfracture surgery, which adds 4-to-8 weeks recovery time, so he likely wasn’t going to be ready for the start of the regular season.
But now the Patriots claim him and his $540,000 salary with an eye toward 2013.
They did something similar in 2010, claiming safety Josh Barrett when he was waived/injured by the Broncos; Barrett spend the entire season on IR that year.
UPDATE (7:15 p.m.) – Ballard has released a statement through his agent on the move:
“While this was very sudden and I am still experiencing a great deal of differing emotions, I wanted to take a moment to say thank you and place some closure on a wonderful chapter in my life,” the statement read. “I will greatly miss my teammates, the fans, the organization, and albeit short-Iived, I will forever cherish all the great memories that we created during my time in a Giant uniform.
“Simultaneously, I am humbled by the opportunity that the Patriots have afforded me and as I have always done, I will bring nothing but hard work, professionalism, and integrity to what is already a world class organization.”