Is Bill Belichick Wrong by Signing Jake Ballard?
Jake Ballard was waived by the Giants. The Patriots picked him up. I don't see an issue here.
That's not the way Tom Coughlin and Jerry Reese see it. The New York Giants brain trust made the decision to release their most productive pass-catching tight end (38 receptions, 604 receiving yards, four TDs) after Ballard suffered a knee injury in the team's Super Bowl win over...the New England Patriots. Reese's plan was to have Ballard clear waivers and assign him to the league's physically unable to perform list.
Bill Belichick, even with two stellar tight ends of his own in Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez, had other plans. And some are accusing the Patriots, who do not explicitly employ a general manager, of violating a general understanding between NFL front offices.
Ballard is not expected to play at all in 2012, after having undergone both reconstructive surgery on his ACL and microfracture surgery in February. He has battled injuries in the past, as he also suffered a torn PCL in 2011 and had a hamstring injury that kept him off the active roster in 2010. Ballard is scheduled to make $540,000 this season, the last year of his contract.
Should the Patriots be held accountable for an "unwritten rule?" Does such a thing exist in today's NFL, where entire packages of rules are added, revised and omitted every year?
Lead NFL blogger Aaron Nagler and I kick this can around in our latest debate. Enjoy the video above and leave us your thoughts in the comments below. And don't tell me about all of the "unwritten" comments you've left here before. I'm not falling for that again.
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