Waived a day ago after failing his physical, tight end Jake Ballard will not be making a return to the New York Giants like he originally thought. Instead, the third-year player out of Ohio State has been claimed by the New England Patriots.
Ballard appeared to have cleared waivers early today as he showed up to the Giants’ facilities, but as it turns out, he was merely collecting his things and saying goodbye.
Although Ballard is unable to practice and may miss the entire season (ACL tear), the Patriots took a chance on him and will inherit his $540,000, one-year contract. He will become a exclusive rights free agent (ERFA) after the season and will count against their 90-man roster in 2012.
With the addition of Ballard, the Patriots now have six tight ends. It’s also not the first time they’ve claimed a waived player who was going to be placed on Injured Reserve (IR), having done the same thing to the Denver Broncos and safety Josh Barnett in 2010.
“I’m on the road to recovery,” Ballard said on Monday, “and I believe I’ll be in a Giants uniform in ’13.”
In 14 games a season ago, Ballard hauled in 38 passes for 604 yards and four touchdowns. He tore his ACL during a Super Bowl XLVI victory over his new team.
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