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Jerry Reese won’t explain the loss of Jake Ballard

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Like coach Tom Coughlin expressed earlier in the day, Giants general manager Jerry Reese said he was “disappointed” to lose tight end Jake Ballard to New England in what is becoming the most-discussed waiver-claim in years.

That does not mean, however, that Reese wants to discuss it.

“I could explain it but I don’t want to explain it,” Reese said on SiriusXM NFL Radio, via the New York Daily News. “Because it’s really irrelevant at this point. All I want to say about Jake is he did a tremendous job for us and we hope he gets well soon. It’s really pointless for me at this point  to try explain it to people.

“It’s rare that somebody takes a guy under these conditions off the waiver wire but it happened and we wish Jake all the best.”

It’s clear the Giants were expecting to get Ballard back to stash him on IR, after he needed ACL and microfracture surgery.

“Yes we thought that he would clear,” Reese said. “It’s rare, but it’s not the first time something like that has happened. It’s disappointing for us that we didn’t get him back. He did a tremendous job for us and we hope he gets well soon and that he can finish his career, whether it’s with New England or whatever team he ends up with.

“It was disappointing, but that does happen, every blue moon.”

And while Reese said he harbors no ill will toward the Patriots for making the move, it doesn’t take much reading between the lines to see the Giants are chafed.

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47 Responses to “Jerry Reese won’t explain the loss of Jake Ballard”
  1. marvsleezy says: Jun 13, 2012 4:12 PM

    You always owe the fans an explanation when you screw up. It sounds like if he was being honest, he would just say

    “I screwed up, and I got burned, sorry.”

  2. getthegleam says: Jun 13, 2012 4:13 PM

    Considering that the team that picked him up had the best TE tandem in the league last year and lost to said team with the former TE..well connect the dots folks.

  3. wannabeqb says: Jun 13, 2012 4:15 PM

    Some of these quotes are implying (to me anyway) that Reese and Coughlin weren’t exactly on the same page on this plan.

  4. carbeezy83 says: Jun 13, 2012 4:17 PM

    He was a solid TE option for Eli, but good luck starting behind Gronk and Hernandez in NE.

  5. duanethomas says: Jun 13, 2012 4:17 PM

    Reese is one of the Top 5 GM’s in the league and New England can play their games and win the battles now, but when it really counts head to head…..who has won?

  6. kylecleric says: Jun 13, 2012 4:19 PM

    He wishes he could blame the Patriots for doing something to him. But Reese knows that it’s his fault. You don’t put a player of Ballard’s caliber exposed on waivers. He was asking for this to happen even if he doesn’t realize it. This is very comparable to the Vikings letting their clock in the draft expire or the Raiders accidentally releasing their 3rd round draft pick. A bonehead front office move by the Giants.

  7. ampats says: Jun 13, 2012 4:20 PM

    Why aren’t people posting the fact that the Giants did not want to pay his full season salary and by waiving him, Ballard would have received an injury settlement not what he will receive from NE. He was a waived player,not property of the Giants. I believe that Coughlin is pissed at the Giants front office not BB.For those sore loser theorists, problem being is that TC & BB are very close friends. There is mutual respect.

    Giants tried to save $$ and got burnt.No one seems to want to hold the SB front office responsible.

  8. gpete1962 says: Jun 13, 2012 4:21 PM

    BB one good night sleep knowing he screwewd the Giants is nothing compared toa a lifetimeof sleepless nights remembering the2007 super bowl

  9. mikeyhigs says: Jun 13, 2012 4:22 PM

    It’s good he’s not whining about it. He shouldn’t. Would he have done the same thing if it were Eli, or Nicks, or Tuck? No. He took a gamble and he lost.

  10. khuxford says: Jun 13, 2012 4:26 PM

    “I could explain it, but I rather take more time than it should to explain it to, instead, tell you how pointless it would be for me to explain it.”

  11. thankheavenfornumberseven says: Jun 13, 2012 4:28 PM

    If you like him so much, then keep him on the roster for another couple months. Is it that important that you have another roster spot available right now? Teams used to get by with 80 roster spots going into camp and now you can have 90. Was that 90th guy worth the risk of losing a guy you like?

  12. illbillgiantz4lif says: Jun 13, 2012 4:31 PM

    The fact that Jerry Reese even found Jake Ballard in the first place proves that his staff is one of the very best. I didn’t think they’d effectively replace Kevin Boss so quickly.

    A good talent scout like Reese will have scores of undrafted tight ends to choose from.

  13. nygdriveforfive says: Jun 13, 2012 4:32 PM

    2 SB’s in 5 years. That explains everything.

  14. tfbuckfutter says: Jun 13, 2012 4:36 PM

    Is it true Brad Childress kept trying to claim him after hearing the Patriots were interested?

    Also….my guess is it wasn’t a move so much to irk the Giants as it was to put pressure on Aaron Hernandez when his contract comes up.

  15. theandy59 says: Jun 13, 2012 4:41 PM

    Those people who think Belichick did this in some way to “get back” at the Giants for the Super Bowl don’t understand Belichick at all. He saw a very good player placed on waivers that he could pick up at an extremely reasonable price and he pounced. The fact that he has Gronk and Hernandez is irrelevant. You don’t stop collecting good players cheap just because you already have guys at those positions. Now if I were a fan of any of the teams who had waiver priority before New England but who failed to claim Ballard, I’d be pretty pissed….

  16. patsfiend says: Jun 13, 2012 4:41 PM

    Might be time to update that resume, Jerry.

  17. kacapaco says: Jun 13, 2012 4:46 PM

    Idiot. As GM, he should have known any team who see a value in the player is entitled to take him and that is what NE does. He is trying to blame others for his stupid call.

  18. captfoxboro says: Jun 13, 2012 4:47 PM

    I get the Chilly reference but he’s currently the new OC for the Browns and likely carries less weight than Kelly Ripa .

    Good point regarding AH and upcoming contract negotiations .

  19. benh999 says: Jun 13, 2012 4:48 PM

    ampats says:
    Jun 13, 2012 4:20 PM
    Why aren’t people posting the fact that the Giants did not want to pay his full season salary and by waiving him, Ballard would have received an injury settlement not what he will receive from NE. He was a waived player,not property of the Giants. I believe that Coughlin is pissed at the Giants front office not BB.For those sore loser theorists, problem being is that TC & BB are very close friends. There is mutual respect.

    Giants tried to save $$ and got burnt.No one seems to want to hold the SB front office responsible.

    ———-

    Armpits,
    If he had cleared waivers and the Giants opted not to exercise their option to retain him on PUP/reserve, they would still have to pay him his salary (whether voluntarily or through an almost certainly successful injury grievance). It would be profoundly stupid to not retain a player who they have to pay anyway and would not take a spot on the active roster, unless they felt his presence were somehow detrimental to the team. If that were the case, however, they would not have bothered to use the injured designation when they waived him.

    But, it is pretty simple straight up gamesmanship from the Patriots (think about, they have second to last priority on the waiver wire — effectively last since only the Giants are behind them — and 30 other teams passed) and I would not be surprised in the least if he never played a snap for them. There is nothing right/wrong/classy/classless about the moves from either team.

  20. vbe2 says: Jun 13, 2012 4:48 PM

    Didn’ty they do the same thing last year with a WR that the Eagles signed?

  21. cannonballdookie says: Jun 13, 2012 4:54 PM

    The Giants may have won the battle, but the Pats won the war. Big deal the Giants beat them in two Super Bowls, New England now has a badly injured third TE, game over!!!

  22. j0esixpack says: Jun 13, 2012 4:54 PM

    So Reese and Coughlin try to cheap out, waive Ballard to avoid paying his salary and then re-sign him to slip him onto IR and they’re the victims here?

    Instead Belichick steps forward, pays Ballard’s 2012 salary, and he’s the bad guy?

    You gotta wonder about some of these Patriots hating fans – would they really defend their own bosses if they were fired when they were sick, and curse the company that wanted to pay them to rehab? They must not realize how stupid they sound.

    If the Giants wanted to keep him, all they needed to do is keep him on the roster and pay his salary like Belichick did.

  23. youdownwithjpp says: Jun 13, 2012 4:54 PM

    This story is getting old.

    The TE is the least targeted position for the Giants. This “waiver-gate” situation is a non-factor.

    Bill is acting like the kid who takes his ball home because everyone keeps beating him.

    I appreciate what Jake did for the Giants but this isn’t a loss for the team by any means. COME ONNNN.

  24. j0esixpack says: Jun 13, 2012 5:00 PM

    getthegleam says: Considering that the team that picked him up had the best TE tandem in the league last year and lost to said team with the former TE..well connect the dots folks.

    ——————————————

    I’d suggest that those who know anything about football will connect the dots and discover that Hernandez’s contract is up after 2013.

    Anyone who knows anything about football knows that Ballard is an exclusive rights free agent in 2013 – meaning the Patriots can match any long-term offer he gets.

    So for the $500,000 that the Giants balked at paying Ballard to rehab, Belichick now has added leverage in contract negotiations with Hernandez, and has a pretty good looking Plan B at TE in case either Gronkowski or Hernandez get injured.

    But I’m sure I don’t have to explain that to the intelligent fans here at PFT.

  25. covercorner says: Jun 13, 2012 5:01 PM

    Jerry Reese screwed up. He took an unnecessary risk and it backfired.

  26. pftcensorssuck says: Jun 13, 2012 5:08 PM

    People are harping on the wrong guy here by criticizing Bill Belichick.

    The NFL is a multi-billion dollar operation, and there are those who would operate this on an “unwritten” policy???

    Are you KIDDING me?

    Aside from the fact that other teams have “poached” players from the Patriots this very same way, there is a simple explanation for what New England did here. Has nothing to do with the Patriots looking to piss off the Gints, has nothing to do with cornering the market on TE’s.

    Simply put, New England saw a chance to grab a solid player they’ve seen up close, for next to nothing. They pay him a little to sit out the year.

    Next season, one of two things could happen; they decide to let Hernandez walk, because they’ve got Ballard for less, or they re-sign Hernandez and have Ballard as either an insurance plan against injury to Hernandez or Gronk, or they use Ballard as trade bait for a nice draft pick.

    Getting back at the Giants has little to do with it, this is all about sound business decisions, and the Giants didn’t make one, obviously. New England did.

  27. bigbluefan56 says: Jun 13, 2012 5:08 PM

    As a lifelong Giants fan I’ve been wondering things since the first day of the draft. I can be wrong on this one but the Giants were rumored to be interested in Alabama LB, Hightower. Pats jump up and take him. I thought that was a little odd. Now this! Clearly (if Im right on the first assumption) he has an issue with the Giants.

    That being said, as much as I will admire and will NEVER forget his efforts to come back into the game during the 4th qtr of the SB, I also remember through the reg season cursing his name time and time again on some routine dropped passes. But, he did make some great plays though it seems he dropped off towards the middle of the season. Could be because of injury I will give him that. With Pope as a TE’s coach all that’s left to say is, “Next man up!!!” Go G-Men!!!!

  28. benh999 says: Jun 13, 2012 5:24 PM

    j0esixpack says:
    Jun 13, 2012 4:54 PM
    So Reese and Coughlin try to cheap out, waive Ballard to avoid paying his salary and then re-sign him to slip him onto IR and they’re the victims here?

    Instead Belichick steps forward, pays Ballard’s 2012 salary, and he’s the bad guy?

    You gotta wonder about some of these Patriots hating fans – would they really defend their own bosses if they were fired when they were sick, and curse the company that wanted to pay them to rehab? They must not realize how stupid they sound.

    If the Giants wanted to keep him, all they needed to do is keep him on the roster and pay his salary like Belichick did.

    ———

    I wonder about fans who think players who are on reserve lists due to football injuries are not due to earn their base salaries.

  29. jdandcoke says: Jun 13, 2012 5:33 PM

    people….jake ballard was a practice squad player two years ago. yes, he did a nice job for the giants last year and he was well liked….but its not like we just lost jason witten in his prime.

    the poor guy just had MICRO-FRACTURE surgery and is already going to miss this entire season….and chances are that he will never regain even the modest form that he previously possessed. how did steve smith do last year?

    the giants are ticked off that BB did something that teams basically just dont do….they arent ticked off that they had some pro-bowl stud stolen from them.

    if jake ballard were that prized a possession….and if what BB did was something routinely done….then you can be sure that a team way before the pats would have claimed ballard.

  30. j0esixpack says: Jun 13, 2012 5:36 PM

    benh999 says: If he had cleared waivers and the Giants opted not to exercise their option to retain him on PUP/reserve, they would still have to pay him his salary (whether voluntarily or through an almost certainly successful injury grievance).

    ——————————————

    They waived him. They weren’t going to pay his existing salary.

    They likely would have paid an injury settlement – but it’s called a settlement for a reason – I can’t remember a time when a cut player received more, or even as much in an injury settlement as he was supposed to get on his contract.

    Belichick is the bad guy because he’s willing to pay the remainder of Ballard’s contract?

    Bear in mind he’s not doing that because he’s a nice guy – the $500k gives him exclusive rights to match Ballard’s 2013 offer even if he doesn’t play in 2012.

    This was a football personnel decision – Belichick had a chance to give himself added leverage in negotiations with Hernandez and some insurance in the form of exclusive rights to the best TE available in 2013.

    Every other coach and GM – including Reese and Coughlin – were asleep at the wheel.

  31. taibbi says: Jun 13, 2012 5:41 PM

    Reese has nobody to blame but himself. He unilaterally declared a cease-fire, then complained when he stood up and got shot.

  32. raider17 says: Jun 13, 2012 5:56 PM

    When did the Raiders accidentally give up a 3rd round pick?

    Al Davis Forever!!!
    Just Win Baby!!!

  33. elifan4life says: Jun 13, 2012 6:01 PM

    It cracks me up how Reese is getting bashed for releasing a player who won’t be ready for football until 2 years from now and that is if he fully recovers we all know it takes a full 2 years to recover from micro-fracture surgery ask Steve Smith #12

    This is clearly retaliation by Belicheat because we signed Antwuan Molden DB off their roster.

  34. ytsejamer1 says: Jun 13, 2012 6:02 PM

    thankheavenfornumberseven says: Jun 13, 2012 4:28 PM

    If you like him so much, then keep him on the roster for another couple months. Is it that important that you have another roster spot available right now? Teams used to get by with 80 roster spots going into camp and now you can have 90. Was that 90th guy worth the risk of losing a guy you like?
    ————————————————–

    That is a damn solid point! Did the Giants really need that 11th WR or 5th punt returner for training camp or OTAs? Dumb move.

    That said and again, my opinion here…it was a dink move by the Pats. It was a damn smart one though.

  35. benh999 says: Jun 13, 2012 6:06 PM

    j0esixpack says:
    Jun 13, 2012 5:36 PM
    benh999 says: If he had cleared waivers and the Giants opted not to exercise their option to retain him on PUP/reserve, they would still have to pay him his salary (whether voluntarily or through an almost certainly successful injury grievance).

    ——————————————

    They waived him. They weren’t going to pay his existing salary.

    They likely would have paid an injury settlement – but it’s called a settlement for a reason – I can’t remember a time when a cut player received more, or even as much in an injury settlement as he was supposed to get on his contract.

    Belichick is the bad guy because he’s willing to pay the remainder of Ballard’s contract?

    Bear in mind he’s not doing that because he’s a nice guy – the $500k gives him exclusive rights to match Ballard’s 2013 offer even if he doesn’t play in 2012.

    This was a football personnel decision – Belichick had a chance to give himself added leverage in negotiations with Hernandez and some insurance in the form of exclusive rights to the best TE available in 2013.

    Every other coach and GM – including Reese and Coughlin – were asleep at the wheel.

    ———-

    Are you daft? Why would the Giants 1.) have waived him with an injured designation or 2.) be “disappointed” in him not clearing waivers? Players who are injured at a team facility or during a game, and placed on IR are contractually entitled to be paid at the very least their base salary. Why would Ballard request an injury settlement from the Giants?

    Injury settlements are paid out to players on IR who want to be released to find a new team, presumably because there is a chance they could play again during the current season, which hardly seems to be the case for Ballard. It saves the team that has their rights money and allows them to pursue other opportunities. No players would ever agree to an injury settlement unless they were certain they could get work elsewhere.

    Explaining how waiver wires and reserve lists work to Patriots fans is like teaching quantum physics to gophers suffering from alcohol poisoning.

  36. jakek2 says: Jun 13, 2012 6:08 PM

    Hello….the Giants didn’t lose the second coming of Shannon Sharpe here. They barely use TEs. When they do, it’s there 4th option. With all the attention to Nicks, Cruz and Manningham, defenses usually had whatever left over to cover the guy. Now, with a bum wheel, the Giants would have had no use for him in 2013. The Giants are lucky enough to have a good enough offense where they can just plug and play TEs. By mid-season, they’ll have some other no-name TE racking up the same stats. The same exact thing happened with Boss. We thought we were doomed. Shockey out, Boss in. Boss out, Ballard in. Ballard out….Bennett or Hopkins or Bear Pascoe will pick up the same 4 TDs and 350 yds that his predecessors picked up. Not worried.

  37. situsavaisprier says: Jun 13, 2012 6:10 PM

    First off I thank Jake Ballard for his contributions on the field, he definitely made some great plays and had some great catches, like that 3rd down catch against the Patriots in the regular season.

    Now, I really don’t see what the hell the big deal is with his loss. Hakeem Nicks and Victor Cruz for most of the year opened things up for everyone, including Ballard, who was ignored quite a bit by Giants’ opponents. Even before he played many people said Giants don’t have a TE when Boss signed with the Raiders. All of a sudden Ballard was a big loss.

    Giants will be just fine. After all people were asking what would the Giants do when Shockey went down. Lo and behold Boss started in his place and the Giants played more 3 WR sets, with Steve Smith playing that role.

  38. peytonsneck18 says: Jun 13, 2012 6:14 PM

    so this guy wont even play in the 2012/2013?? but the pats picked him up for 2 years down the road, and this guy was a raiders castoff last year? hmmmmmm BB is a prick

  39. situsavaisprier says: Jun 13, 2012 6:17 PM

    Also for the record the Giants cut 3 TE’s before the start of the 2010-2011 season, they were Jake Ballard (starter this past season), Bear Pascoe (back-up last year and this year), and Scott Chandler (current starting TE for the Bills). Giants may have lost a decent young TE, but they didn’t lose Eli’s #1 option.

  40. canemh says: Jun 13, 2012 6:19 PM

    he was a nice player. thats it a nice player who is coming off microfracture surgery. ill take my chances with the best te coach in the business developing someonelse.

  41. oilman989 says: Jun 13, 2012 9:53 PM

    This isn’t Reece’s first rodeo; 2012 will be his 6th season as Senior VP/GM, and he’s been with the Giants since 1994. It’s hard to believe he doesn’t have enough foresight where the Patriots are concerned; especially when the Giants are the one team that stood between Belichick and two more world titles – and oh, by the way, coaching immortality.

    So for a roster spot and $540K the Giants gambled – and lost.

    Sure you could explain it; but you spent more energy – and print – giving us reasons why you don’t want to. It’s real simple: “We (I) screwed up.”

  42. greekgodfather says: Jun 14, 2012 12:41 AM

    Lets not talk about sour grapes, Giant fans…how often does a coach and a GM publicly express disappointment for losing a player claimed on waivers? Ballard must have had some value to them otherwise they would not care to comment. Bad call, bad move, lick your wounds and move on.

    BB does everything for a reason. Is he vengeful? Yep. But this one makes perfect sense to me.

  43. otrd13 says: Jun 14, 2012 7:43 AM

    ya he gambled for 540k and a roster spot sure, but he only did it bc we have Pope, Eli and a promising trio of TEs. Quite frankly, ballard wasn’t even close to anything special if hes not in the Giants system. Wish him well and I wouldn’t be surprised if hes back with them in a year or two when the Pats realize they can’t do much with him in their system.

  44. cantgetenoughwp says: Jun 14, 2012 9:37 AM

    “It was disappointing, but that does happen, every blue moon.”

    Considering that the Jints just pasted another one on the Pats in the big game, this moon wasn’t really blue at all. It’s really a very average moon that occured shortly after said pasting.

  45. bigbluelou says: Jun 14, 2012 1:18 PM

    Everybody went crazy when the Giants lost Steve Smith and Kevin Boss last year. How’d that work out? it’s a business folks, you can’t get attached too much to a player (though I liked his grit) that isn’t even going to play this season.

  46. crocks93 says: Jun 14, 2012 2:03 PM

    There’s a pretty simple reason why teams don’t take players off the waiver wire very often. Teams don’t usually waive a starter earning close to the league minimum, injured or not. Usually either the salary is prohibitive or the player is worthless. Ballard won’t play this year but he clearly isn’t worthless. Just ask Reese and Coughlin. And ask Belichick who got two good looks at what Ballard can do last year (including his catching the game winning TD in the regular season). Oops.

    A few people have mentioned Aaron Hernandez’s contract as a factor, but he and Ballard couldn’t be more different. One is a versatile WR/TE who can line up anywhere and is a match up nightmare, and the other is a good blocking TE who has shown some promise catching the ball.

    NE has reinvented the TE position the last couple of years. Ballard, if he recovers, gives them even more options going forward. 3 TE sets, anyone? Nothing BB does should surprise you.

  47. bikelikemike says: Jun 14, 2012 7:20 PM

    @cannonballdookie says: Jun 13, 2012 4:54 PM

    The Giants may have won the battle, but the Pats won the war. Big deal the Giants beat them in two Super Bowls, New England now has a badly injured third TE, game over!!!
    —–
    That was too funny!!! And I’m a Pat’s fan! hahaha

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