The New York Giants, according to their official site this afternoon, have waived TE Jake Ballard. Ballard tore his ACL in Super Bowl XLVI and was waived after he failed his physical as he recovers from his injury. Additionally, the Giants announced that they have re-signed veteran DT Rocky Bernard.
Bernard, 33, is returning for his fifth season with the Giants, but only recorded one start last year with the Giants. In regular season play last season, Bernard recorded 30 tackles.
The larger question mark however for the Giants is the move to waive TE Jake Ballard. Ballard finished the 2011 Super Bowl season as New York’s fourth-leading receiver, recording 38 receptions for 604 yards and four touchdowns. He had the second highest yard per catch average on the Giants roster last season, logging a 15.9 yard per catch average.
Yes, Ballard is coming off ACL surgery, but he looked to have a very promising career in the NFL entering just his second season. ACL surgery has become a routine procedure in the league in recent years, and for the organization to simply give up on their third leading receiver of last year, speaks volumes. It was possible that he might start the season on the PUP list, but to just throw him out on waivers?
New York signed former Dallas Cowboys TE Martellus Bennett to a one-year $2.5 million dollar deal in the offseason. Bennett quickly had to dispel rumors with the local media that he had gained a significant amount of weight after showing up for Giants OTAs, stating he was not fat, but had added additional muscle.
The move to waive Ballard must mean that the Giants don’t think he’ll be able to contribute at all this season and perhaps they hope to re-sign him at a later date.
As the league trends towards more athletic tight ends in offensive sets, it will remain to be seen what sort of impact Bennett will have with the Giants in 2012. And the Giants passed on bringing TE Kevin Boss back via free agency this offseason as well.