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Sports Then and Now

Did the Patriots Finally Win One Over The Giants?

Posted on July 04, 2012 by John Ogalbe

In the future Jake Ballard could be making catches for, instead of against, the Patriots.

You can generally rely on the New England Patriots and Head Coach Bill Belichick to spring a surprise and create talking points for the football betting community to discuss, and that’s just what they did recently when he claimed New York Giants tight-end Jake Ballard ‘off waivers’, which prevented the Giants from slipping him onto the reserve list.

Some may say that this is a form of revenge for the Patriots who were shocked by the Giants in last season’s Super Bowl. The Patriots may waive him with the ‘failed physical’ designation, exposing him to waivers and likely setting the stage for the Giants (or someone else) to claim his contract.

Otherwise, the Pats will have to carry Ballard, who won’t play in 2012 after tearing an ACL in the Super Bowl, on the 90-man roster until the first wave of cuts in late August.

The NFL really established this procedure to prevent teams from hiding away young players who may not be injured, while continuing to nurture and progress them with care.

But there has to be a certain amount of courtesy and respect in these situations and we expect an old-guard owner such as the Giants’ John Mara to be less than happy about this situation. He will certainly have an axe to grind with the Patriots.

Now it could be that the Patriots have claimed Ballard for precisely that reason to get under the skin of the Giants, because let’s face it, it won’t be the first time they have pulled a stunt like this – within the rules but very unsportsmanlike.

The Patriots have displayed a curious interest in veteran tight ends like Dallas Clark and Bo Scaife, but those that bet on the NFL will tell you that they have no obvious need for a young tight end, given the presence of Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez, who entered the league in 2010 with Ballard.

Of course Ballard could be the insurance against something happening to that pair but the bottom line is that Ballard is now a Patriot – not a Giant – and he’ll be used by Bill Belichick and the franchise as such.

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