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Patriots claim ex-Giant TE Ballard

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By PFW staff

It appeared that TE Jake Ballard would clear waivers on Tuesday and land on the Giants’ injured reserve list after the team waived him Monday.

Instead, the team the Giants beat in the Super Bowl — when Ballard tore his ACL — snatched up Ballard.

The Patriots claimed Ballard on Tuesday, according to his agent, Blake Baratz. Ballard underwent microfracture surgery to repair torn cartilage this offseason, in addition to ACL surgery.

In 2011, Ballard had 38 catches for 604 yards and three touchdowns. He had four catches for 67 yards and a score against the Patriots in the regular season and two catches for 10 yards in the Super Bowl before tearing his ACL.

The way we see it

The Patriots have stockpiled tight ends this offseason, adding Bo Scaife last week and Daniel Fells earlier this spring. By claiming Ballard, the team is making an investment toward 2013, which could be key considering Aaron Hernandez’s future. Rob Gronkowski is locked up, but the Pats may not be able to, nor want to pay Hernandez big money down the line. Ballard provides another option, should he return to form. That's a very long-term view for the Patriots to take, so they clearly must have seen something in Ballard they liked.

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