The New York Giants waived TE Jake Ballard earlier this week with the team planning to re-sign the injured player and place him on the injured reserve list. The best laid plans sometime go awry as the New England Patriots swooped in and plucked the tight end off the waiver wire, keeping him from returning to the Giants. The Patriots shrewd move has drawn the ire of New York Giants head coach Tom Coughlin.
“Discouraged is a minor description. Very disappointed,” Coghlin told reporters about the move.
Ballard will not be able to play this season while he is rehabbing from ACL surgery but the Patriots will now store him on the injured reserve list hoping for him to return to full health in 2013.
The Patriots are known for their history of working the wavier wire adroitly, stockpiling draft choices and getting significant production from veteran players which other teams have discarded. This is just another move in a long list of such moves. Ballard was a significant part of the Super Bowl Champion New York Giants offense last season recording 38 receptions for 604 yards. He now joins a team which is regarded as the deepest in the league at the tight end position with the Patriots already having third year tight end Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez along with veteran Daniel Fells joining the duo this season via free agency.
Patriots head coach showed little remorse over the move to nab Ballard off waivers when asked by reporters. “There are no unwrittens”, said Belichick. “When a player is on waivers, he’s on waivers-our’s or anybody else’s.”
Rob Gronkowski was just handed a $54 million dollar contract extension by the Patriots after his record setting 2011 season. Hernandez is under contract through the 2013 season while Fells signed a three-year contract with the Patriots in March, keeping him under contract until 2015.