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Jake Ballard retires from the NFL

Ballard Getty Images

Tight end Jake Ballard, who started 13 regular-season games and three postseason games for the 2011 Giants, has retired from the NFL.  Ballard tore an ACL during New York’s Super Bowl XLVI win over the Patriots.

“Yesterday I made the difficult decision to retire from the game of football,” Ballard said in a statement.  “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.”
In 2012, the Giants waived Ballard, hoping to slide him through to injured reserve.  The Patriots claimed Ballard on waivers.
The Patriots eventually released Ballard, and he appeared in eight games for the Cardinals last season, with three starts.
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21 Responses to “Jake Ballard retires from the NFL”
  1. rationalfootballfan says: Aug 6, 2014 2:44 PM

    I remember the Pats looked like geniuses picking him up on waivers and NY looked like fools letting him go. It’s a shame, would’ve been cool to see the guy bounce back and continue to have success!

  2. micknangold says: Aug 6, 2014 2:46 PM

    That’s a shame. Huge body, excellent route runner, good hands. He would’ve had a very nice career for himself if he didn’t get hurt.

  3. beardinals says: Aug 6, 2014 2:46 PM

    He was a good addition. Fortunately for the Cardinals, there is a log jam of quality TEs on the roster.

  4. ctiggs says: Aug 6, 2014 2:46 PM

    Local boy and Buckeye good luck Jake!!

  5. nflviewer says: Aug 6, 2014 2:54 PM

    What a great attitude for anyone, not just a pro football player, to have about life.

    Ballard was a fun player to watch when he was healthy with the Giants. He was very big and slow but good at getting open (in part because defenses made the mistake of not covering him seriously), had great hands, and was hard to bring down.

    Ballard gave it his all. He injured his knee in the Super Bowl, but tried to see if he could get back in the game, and then unfortunately seemed to make his knee injury worse (you could see this in the Super Bowl broadcast when he tried coming out of his stance on the sideline after his knee injury).

    He walks away on his own terms, and seems happy with the great achievement of having started for a Super Bowl winner.

    He’ll probably do very well in whatever he does next. He’s probably be a great neighbor, work colleague and family member.

  6. carlcen says: Aug 6, 2014 2:59 PM

    What a shame. I will never ever forget the sight of Ballard trying to run on the sideline during the Super Bowl so he could get back into the game. I was hoping the Giants might give him another shot. Hopefully, he will end up in the Giants organization somewhere.

  7. kd75 says: Aug 6, 2014 3:01 PM

    Thanks for 2011 Jake.

  8. JackedUpSports says: Aug 6, 2014 3:01 PM

    Unfortunate. Everything the Patriots touch, dies.

    Guess that means Tyler Gaffney’s about to retire also

  9. jerbear55 says: Aug 6, 2014 3:03 PM

    I think he just saved Housler’s butt…

  10. scw1993 says: Aug 6, 2014 3:55 PM

    Jacked up sports …no unfortunately for you, Ballard wouldn’t have touched the Jets with a 10-foot pole. How’s Vick, the dog killer?

  11. bergencountyjc says: Aug 6, 2014 4:09 PM

    I’ll always remember the back-twisting catch he made against the Pats during the regular season against the Pats on that Superbowl year. Helped set up the TD that put us in the W column that day.

  12. hughjanus2000 says: Aug 6, 2014 4:25 PM

    Now he can go back to his day job at B-613 working under his boss, Bill “Command” Bellichick. Spygate lives on.

  13. xbam1 says: Aug 6, 2014 7:26 PM

    guess the pats aren’t as smart as some people thought they were…

  14. descendency says: Aug 6, 2014 9:53 PM

    At least he can say he has a Super Bowl ring.

    And to people criticizing the pats for signing the guy… it was a great move to get a guy like him for nothing and hope he came back from his injury. It didn’t work out – but it was still a great move. Sometimes, great moves don’t pan out and bad ones do. It’s just how luck works.

  15. coachbeck says: Aug 6, 2014 10:13 PM

    Good Dayton area kid. #937

  16. joelongbexley says: Aug 6, 2014 10:21 PM

    Was classmate (several times) of Jake at tOSU and I know his future is bright and he’ll be successful in all endeavors. His dedication to be the best on (playing/coaching) and off the field has laid a solid foundation. Gonna miss watching him on Sunday’s. Best of luck jake.

  17. hrdcorbengalsfan says: Aug 6, 2014 10:33 PM

    Always a Buckeye. O-H–I-O!!

  18. lanman11 says: Aug 7, 2014 2:37 AM

    The Patriots paid him and gave him a chance. It probably helped him hang around the league a little longer than he might have otherwise.

  19. lic112014 says: Aug 7, 2014 6:13 AM

    It’s too bad young players like Ballard and David Wilson are forced to leave the the game so soon.He will always have that Super Bowl ring as solace.

  20. jpherling says: Aug 7, 2014 8:21 AM

    Jake, we’ll never forget your contributions to Big Blue on the way to the Super Bowl. Thank you!

  21. bigbluefan1 says: Aug 7, 2014 11:10 AM

    Jake
    Remember once a Giant always a Giant

    Good Luck and thanks

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