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Former New York Giants TE Jake Ballard Announces Retirement from NFL

August 6th, 2014 at 2:45 PM
By Dan Benton

Former New York Giants tight end Jake Ballard, who was most recently with the Arizona Cardinals, has announced his retirement from the NFL after only four seasons.

“Yesterday I made the difficult decision to retire from the game of football,” Ballard said in a statement via Pro Football Talk. “I love this game and have put my heart and soul into it for as long as I can remember. After sustaining a serious knee injury while playing for the New York Giants in the Super Bowl, my body never felt the same. Having a quality of life after football is very important to me and I have witnessed it taken away from others. I will miss the game tremendously, but I am ready for this next chapter in my life. It was an honor and a privilege to play for the NY Giants, New England Patriots, and most recently the Arizona Cardinals. I met amazing people from all of my teammates, to opponents, to trainers, to coaches, to owners, and everyone in between. I thank you for allowing me to be a part of your fraternity and I wish you all nothing but success.”

Ballard, who originally signed with the Giants as an undrafted rookie free agent in 2010, suffered a serious ACL tear late in Super Bowl XLVI. The injury was potentially made worse when Ballard attempted to run on the sidelines, holding out hope that he could return to the game, only to have his knee buckle before collapsing onto the turf.

The following year, the Giants attempted to place Ballard on Injured Reserve (IR), but had to make him subject to waivers first. It was at that point the New England Patriots made the shocking decision to "steal" him from the Giants, claiming him off of waivers on June 12th, 2012.

In New England, Ballard was placed on the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list where he'd spend the duration of the 2012 season before being released the following year (August 2013).

A few months after his release from the Patriots, Ballard signed with the Arizona Cardinals and subsequently returned to the football field for the first time since Super Bowl XLVI. He would go on to play in eight games for the Cardinals, hauling in seven receptions for 75 yards and two touchdowns.

In 2011 with the Giants, Ballard caught 38 passes for 604 yards and four touchdowns. He would later receive a Super Bowl ring for his efforts.

And here we are again, saying goodbye to a third in less than a month (Chris Snee, David Wilson). Once a Giant, Always a Giant.


Seeing your team play in the SuperBowl is priceless. Watching the SuperBowl live in the stands for $1 per week is beyond priceless. Find out how at, the future of Championship Tickets. Tags: Arizona, Arizona Cardinals, Chris Snee, David Wilson, Football, Jake Ballard, New England, New England Patriots, New York, New York Giants, NFL, Super Bowl XLVI

16 Responses to “Former New York Giants TE Jake Ballard Announces Retirement from NFL”

  1.  kujo says:

    That knee injury was really really bad. Basically ended his career, a similar story to Steve Smith and Kenny Phillips. Real sad.

  2.  fanfor55years says:

    Always a Giant!!

    That catch against the Patriots up at Foxboro was a career highlight, and the fact that he played and, in essence, put his career on the line (remember, he had a partial tear in his ACL at the time), when it came time to suit up in Lucas Oil Field in the Super Bowl, should make him a fan favorite forever.

    I don’t know about anyone else, but I’ll take one Jake Ballard over a dozen Jeremy Shockeys. One is, IMO, a true lifetime member of the Giants. The other was a wiseguy with no character or commitment to the game or the team.

  3.  GOAT56 says:

    It’s crazy how many key player from the SB team have already retired. And how many more are gone. Snee, Diehl, Ballard, Webster, Ross, KP, Jacobs, etc.

  4.  fanfor55years says:

    And the same day Ballard retires that bum Barden signs with the Jaguars. The injustice of it all….

  5.  kujo says:

    I wish Adrien Robinson would become the Jake Ballard of Tight Ends.

    •  fanfor55years says:

      At this point I’d sign up for that in a heartbeat. Just because he had the “potential” to be more doesn’t mean a damned thing. Ballard was a pretty decent blocker who could occasionally surprise you with a good catch in the seams. I’d take that from Robinson.

      Personally, I still want more from Donnell, who I am starting to think is REALLY the most likely to succeed. He seems to be making a lot more plays.

  6.  Krow says:

    Any chance Ballard had to recover from that injury was stolen from him when the dirtbag Patriots claimed him. It was a low rent move befitting a low rent organization.

    •  GOAT56 says:

      Seattle just lost their starting RT to some team in the same way. And also the Pats did it again, steeling the Carolina rookie RB form Stanford. It pissed me off at the time but if you really value the player just survive with a roster of 89 instead of 90. We did the same thing with Wilson as well. Waived injured does carry some risk.

  7.  fanfor55years says:

    You know, I was thinking about roster decisions and started musing about the guys who could REALLY help a lot on special teams (provided they make the roster as offensive or defensive players, with the exception of the kickers and DeOssie).

    Bowman is a killer on special teams and I’m sure he will be on them. And assuming that Demps will be the #3 safety I think there’s a good chance that Cooper Taylor will be on coverage teams too. Then we hear that Washington and Harris have decent chances to make the team as wide receivers, which would mean they could both potentially be gunners on coverage teams. Add DeOssie firing downfield. I suspect Kennard and Paysinger will be on coverage as well. Herzlich, if he manages to just make the roster (which will be a very close call if he does) will be in coverage. Add the inside guys who have to block for the punter (probably the loser of the battle between Richburg and Walton, plus a few other big bodies). That is quite the potential cover team. Lots of speed, plenty of strength. Combined with Weatherford’s punting the cover team should, for the first time since Tyree moved on, be an asset and a big plus for the Giants.

    I have no idea who will be the returners. I just hope it isn’t Randle. I get that the most important thing is avoiding turnovers. But Randle is never going to be a real game-changer back there. I’d like to see Hosley or James or one of the young receivers get the job. Why not go for an average of 7-10 yards on returns with the occasional big game-changer? Those hidden yards win football games.

    •  GOAT56 says:

      Agreed. That’s another reason why I think Behre makes the team. He seems like a special teams demon. Cooper is good because of his athleticism but Behre got that pure football player in him that loves to hit. He is already been nicknamed the “missile”. It’s a reason why James why be tough to beat out for as roster spot. And why Jackson has a chance, apparently he was a great gunner at ND.

      I fully agree with James because Hosley is suspended. I also think #83 has a chance too. He got most of the reps in the first game. Also I don’t think holiday can be totally discounted if Behre plays really well and beats out Demps then maybe we keep a return specialist instead of an extra safety. I doubt it. Holiday doesn’t seem like a TC player because he fumbles and stays in the tub. And he’s only a specialist. That combo might get him cut as we get down to 75.

    •  James Stoll says:

      How will quinn cope with such an embarrassment of riches?

  8.  GOAT56 says:

    16 starters are gone from our SB team and that doesn’t include Osi or Grant. And that’s with Kiwi at SLB intead of DE. This is including our whole OL and all the backups if Brewer gets cut. That’s crazy!

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