Just what the Pats need, another TE! Chances are he may not even play until 2013:
Patriots notebook Injured Ballard claimed quickly Giants thought TE would clear waivers By Greg A. Bedard and Shalise Manza Young Globe Staff / June 13, 2012
FOXBOROUGH – The Patriots have plenty of tight ends, but that didn’t stop them from adding another one.
The team claimed injured Giants tight end Jake Ballard with an eye on 2013. Ballard suffered a knee injury during Super Bowl XLVI against the Patriots and later had ACL and microfracture surgery.
A very optimistic timetable would put the recovery at nine months. That would be November. Ballard, 24, is more likely headed to injured reserve after being on the physically unable to perform list.
If that happens, Ballard would be an exclusive rights free agent (the Patriots assume his one-year, $540,000 contract this season) again in 2013. The team would only have to tender a minimum contract and Ballard would return to the Patriots. He would be a restricted free agent in ’14. Since Ballard was undrafted, the Patriots would only need to tender a minimum contract to retain right of first refusal if another team came calling. Ballard wouldn’t become an unrestricted free agent until ’15.
If Ballard does play this season, everything would move up a year. Basically, in claiming Ballard, the Patriots have a good, young prospect to give them options
Bill Belichick on Jake Ballard claim: No unwritten rules By Gregg Rosenthal Around The League editor Published: June 13, 2012 at 12:15 p.m. Updated: June 13, 2012 at 04:51 p.m.
New York Giants coach Tom Coughlin didn't want to talk about losing tight end Jake Ballard on waivers to the New England Patriots.
"Don't ask me those questions," Coughlin said when asked why the Giants didn't keep Ballard on their 90-man roster until August instead of risking losing him on waivers Wednesday. "I don't have the answers for you."
It's a topic the media had to bring up. Ballard is unlikely to play in 2012 because of a torn anterior cruciate ligament, but the Giants could have stashed him on the roster until August to retain his rights. At that point, they could have placed him on injured reserve. But they wanted the roster spot and didn't believe any team would claim him.
Coughlin admitted, via the New York Daily News, that he was "very disappointed" to lose Ballard and that placing him on waivers was a "calculated risk."
Giants fans shouldn't blow this out of proportion. Ballard is a role player who's coming off a major injury. As my friend, Bob Glauber of Newsday, pointed out, he's not exactly Mark Bavaro in 1986.
Still, it does appear the Giants miscalculated this risk, and now Ballard is a Patriot. Patriots coach Bill Belichick blanched at the notion of an unwritten rule or that he did anything wrong.
Report: Jake Ballard passes physical, removed from PUP list Posted by Zuri Berry, Boston.com Staff July 23, 2013 05:47 PM
Patriots tight end Jake Ballard was removed from the Patriots' active but physically unable to perform list after passing a physical Tuesday, according to reports.
Ballard, who is coming off a year-long layoff after suffering an ACL tear, had been added to the active/PUP list along with starting tight end Rob Gronkowski and wide receiver Julian Edelman. His ability to practice bolsters the team's depth at the position, which is thin after cutting ties with Aaron Hernandez, who is tied to a murder investigation, and while Gronkowski rehabs from his fifth surgical procedure in the last year.