NEW YORK (WFAN/AP) — The New England Patriots have claimed tight end Jake Ballard off waivers from the Giants.
Ballard, 24, spent two seasons with the Giants after being signed as a rookie free agent out of Ohio State in 2010. He was released by the Giants on Monday after he failed a physical. Ballard tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee during the Giants’ Super Bowl victory over New England in February.
“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,” Ballard said in a statement.
In his second pro season, Ballard had 38 receptions for 604 yards and four touchdowns. He had five catches for 43 yards in the postseason before being injured.
“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,” said Ballard. “I will greatly miss my teammates, the fans, the organization and albeit short-lived, I will forever cherish all the great memories that we created during my time in a Giant uniform.”
New York “assumed they could sneak” Ballard through waivers and then add him to the PUP list, according to the New York Daily News.
Coach Tom Coughlin couldn’t hide his agitation Wednesday, saying he was “discouraged” and “very disappointed” by the surprising loss of Ballard. The frustration apparently wasn’t directed at New England, who he said broke no unwritten rule by claiming the injured tight end.
“Based on the procedural circumstance, all is fair,” said Coughlin.
Meanwhile, at Patriots minicamp, head coach Bill Belichick insisted “there aren’t any unwrittens.”
“You can’t negotiate a contract with a player while he’s under contract – you can’t negotiate a contract, release him and then renegotiate another contract that was already done in advance so I’m sure the Giants weren’t doing that,” he said, according to the Boston Globe.
“If a player’s on waivers, he’s on waivers. Ours or anybody else’s. … Anytime you put a player on waivers, you know there are 31 teams out there that can take him if they want him.”
Giants fans, are you upset Ballard is NE-bound? Be heard in the comments below…
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