Two and a half years ago, Jake Ballard thought he had it made: He had gone from undrafted rookie to the starting tight end on a Giants team that was heading for the Super Bowl. But it’s been all downhill from there.
Ballard suffered a serious knee injury in that Super Bowl in February of 2012, and the Giants put him on waivers that summer. The Patriots then made the surprising decision to claim Ballard off waivers, even though they knew his knee injury wouldn’t allow him to play in the 2012 season. After rehabbing with the Patriots in 2012, Ballard was cut by New England at the end of the preseason in 2013. Ballard spent the next few months out of work, but the Cardinals eventually gave him a chance, and he rewarded them by playing well in limited action at the end of last season.
“I don’t think anybody has been through the trials and tribulations like I have, the highest of highs and the lowest of lows,” Ballard told the Arizona Republic. “It’s been mentally challenging and physically challenging. But it’s definitely been worth it.”
Ballard says that what he wants more than anything is an NFL home that will give him stability. He may have that in Arizona.