Jake Ballard could relieve some of Patriots abundant issues

Jake Ballard could help the Patriots out in a major way in 2013. (Getty Images)
Jake Ballard could help the Patriots out in a major way in 2013. (Getty Images)

This offseason has been, unquestionably, the most chaotic of the Bill Belichick era in New England.

Many fans were highly upset with the departure of Wes Welker to Denver. Many cringed when it was learned that Rob Gronkowski would need to have surgery on his forearm (again) and cringed (again) when it was learned that the All-Pro tight end would need to have surgery on his back (again). And many are currently talking everything but football when it comes to the situation regarding Aaron Hernandez and a deceased 27-year-old man.

Players are scheduled to report to Gillette Stadium for training camp on Thursday, July 25 and it’s certain that Welker won’t be there, certain that Gronkowski will be inactive and nearly certain that Hernandez won’t be there.


One solution to the Patriots problems, most circling around the fact that all three of Tom Brady’s favorite targets from 2012 could be out, could come in the form of an old foe. Jake Ballard, the former tight end of the New York Giants, caught two balls for 10 yards in the last NFL game he played, Super Bowl XLVI against the Patriots. The Pats then picked up Ballard on waivers in June 2012 even though the hulking, 6-foot-6, 275-pound tight end was injured at the time. Giants head coach Tom Coughlin was said to be disgruntled at the time due to the transaction by the Patriots but Pats coach Bill Belichick didn’t seem to care.

“If a player’s on waivers, he’s on waivers,” Belichick told the media last June. “I don’t know what ‘unwrittens’ you’re talking about. Look, anytime you put a player on waivers, you know there’s 31 teams that can take him.”

Ballard had 38 catches for 604 yards and four touchdowns in 2011 with New York and appeared to finally be healthy after sitting out the entire 2012 season with an ACL injury.

“I watched (the Patriots) all last year, just looking over the playbook and mainly doing rehab,” Ballard said at OTAs in May. “I got a sense of what the offense is all about.”

Follow Metro Boston sports editor Matt Burke on Twitter @BurkeMetroBOS



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

At 91, Marvel creator Stan Lee continues to…

By Piya Sinha-RoyLOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Marvel Entertainment's chief emeritus Stan Lee may be in his ninth decade, but it hasn't stopped him from adding…

National

Islamic State says beheads U.S. journalist, holds another

Islamic State insurgents released a video purportedly showing the beheading of U.S. journalist James Foley, who had gone missing in Syria nearly two years ago.

Local

VIDEO: NYPD seeks shooter in East New York…

Cops are on the lookout for an unknown shooter who aimed and missed hitting a man on a bicycle, instead nearly striking a nearby officer in East New York.

Local

NYS state forces thrift shops comply with ban…

Nine New York City thrift shops were reprimanded by the state attorney general for selling children's clothes with drawstrings around the neck and waist.

Television

'Pretty Little Liars' recap: Season 5, Episode 11,…

Caleb's not a ghost. Spencer might still be an attempted murderer. And Hanna's going to die next week. In other words, we actually got some…

Movies

At 91, Marvel creator Stan Lee continues to…

Marvel Entertainment's Stan Lee is adding outposts to his creative empire to interest a new generation of children in super heroes of all shapes and sizes.

Television

Mira Sorvino explores immortality on 'Intruders'

Mira Sorvino's new show "Intruders" centers around a secret society that achieves immortality by taking over the bodies of other people.

Television

5 things you need to know about new…

"Doctor Who" returns Saturday with a new star, Peter Capaldi. Here's some things to know about him (mainly his turn as sweary spin doctor Malcolm Tucker).

MLB

Shane Greene travels unlikely road to Yankees stardom

Shane Greene was throwing a bullpen session on a quiet field at Daytona Beach Community College one day when the ball started moving.

NFL

2014 Fantasy Football: Rankings, list of top NFL…

2014 Fantasy Football: Rankings, list of top NFL tight ends (TE)

MLB

MLB Power Rankings: Angels supplant A's, Nationals climb

MLB Power Rankings: Angels supplant A's, Nationals climb

NFL

David Wilson returns to triple jump, sets sights…

Giants fans know David Wilson can jump. They are just more used to seeing him go for backflips, not distance.

Style

11 timeless gifts for registries or just because

Gifts to prove you're a style maven once and for all.

Parenting

How everyday moments can inspire kids' creativity

"The Artist's Way for Parents" author Julia Cameron gives advice on how parents and children can be creative together.

Tech

How to stay safe online

Stop worrying about keeping your online passwords safe, and start worrying about keeping your username a secret. Actually, worry about both. According to Shaun Murphy…

Tech

OpenTable now lets you pay your bill via…

The restaurant app OpenTable added the ability to pay your bill (and tip) with your phone, thus cutting back on a few dining annoyances.