Shortly upon his arrival, Ballard learned that instead of clearing waivers and being placed on the team's reserve list (PUP), he had been claimed by the New England Patriots. The 6-foot-6, 275-pound Ohio State product had expected to return to New York to continue treatment for a torn ACL suffered in the Super Bowl against New England. Instead he learned he would have to say goodbye to a team that just won the Super Bowl, and say hello to a team he helped defeat to win that game.
Ballard's agent Blake Baratz announced the move via Twitter. The Patriots released a statement shortly afterwards.
Ballard shared his thougts on the move via a statement.
"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," the statement reads. "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.
"Simultaneously, 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. Sincerely, Jake Ballard."
New England made room for Ballard by placing another tight end on injured reserve, Iowa rookie Brad Herman. Herman injured his Achilles in last week's team OTAs. He underwent surgery to repair the damage, and will miss the season while he rehabs the injury.
Under The Radar TE Signing
New England signed another tight end, rookie Tyler Urban, the team announced Monday. Urban, acquired as a rookie free agent by Tampa Bay on April 30, was released by the Buccaneers on May 17, 2012. The 6-foot-5, 249-pounder played both receiver and tight end at West Virginia.
Urban was one of thre players signed Monday. WR Jesse Holley and OL Mike Ingersoll were also signed.
Holley spent two seasons with the Dallas Cowboys (2010-11). He appeared in 28 games for Dallas, recording 7 catches for 169 yards. The North Carolina product was originally signed by Cincinnati as a rookie free agent in 2007. After being released by the Bengals and spending a year out of football in 2008, the 6-foot-2, 220-pound receiver earned a roster spot in Dallas by winning a reality TV show hosted by former Cowboys WR Michael Irvin.
Ingersoll was signed by the Chiefs as a rookie free agent out of North Carolina in 2011. The 6-foot-5, 300-pound lineman was picked up by the Buccaneers in December. He spent a month on Tampa Bay's practice squad last season.