New England Patriots Claim Ex-Giants Tight End Jake Ballard off Waivers

Oliver ThomasContributor IJune 12, 2012

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - JANUARY 08:  (EDITORS NOTE: Image has been converted to black and white.) Jake Ballard #85 of the New York Giants gets set to take the field to play against the Atlanta Falcons during their NFC Wild Card Playoff game at MetLife Stadium on January 8, 2012 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The Giants won 24-2.  (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
Al Bello/Getty Images

Former New York Giants tight end Jake Ballard has been claimed by the New England Patriots, according to Michael David Smith of NBC Sports.

On June 11, the Giants waived Ballard, who tore his anterior cruciate ligament against the Patriots in Super Bowl XLVI. New York reportedly wanted Ballard to clear through waivers so he could be placed on the squad's injured reserve.

That transaction did not go as planned, as New England snagged the 24-year-old off the waiver wire Tuesday afternoon.

Ballard had microfracture surgery this April and failed his physical with the Giants. He likely won't be 100 percent ready to play until the 2013 season, per Paul Schwartz of the New York Post.

However, when healthy, Ballard has produced.

The 6'6", 275-pound tight end caught 38 passes for 604 yards and four touchdowns last season after playing only one game in 2010.

The Ohio State product is in the final year of his contract and is set to earn a base salary of $540,000 this year, cites NBC Sports' Smith. It is unclear what New England plans to do with the injured player, but he will be a restricted free agent in 2013 if the Pats opt to retain him.

New England now has seven tight ends within the organization. Ballard will join a corps which includes Rob Gronkowski, Aaron Hernandez, Daniel Fells, Bo Scaife, Brad Herman and Tyler Urban.