Here's what will happen: Ballard blew out his ACL in the Super Bowl. I believe he's eligible for the PUP for the Patriots and that's where I think he'll go. He's clearly a talented player who can hold his own on the big stage. Some people even consider him the best of the Giants TEs. To me, this means two things:
Initially, I, along with many fans, shrugged off the Patriots signing of TEs. First Fells, then Herman, then Scaife, and now...Ballard. Ballard, most famous for coming up with great catches in the clutch in our regular-season matchup with the Giants has been claimed off the waivers by the Patriots.
1) The Patriots really value the TE spot. We talk a lot about stocking positions like RB and WR but the Patriots are ahead of the curve. They realize that when you give your TEs so many snaps and targets, you will need to treat it as a glamour position akin to a WR or RB. Therefore, I think we're going to see 3 TEs on the roster this year permanently, and possibly a 4th for parts of the season.
2) Ballard offers us that mid-season boost. Hopefully, Gronk, Hernandez, and Fells stay healthy. But Ballard is a great mid-season addition who could come in and offer us a capable backup. By that time, the roster will be trimmed down due to injuries and waivers, and there may indeed be a fourth TE spot available.
3) If we IR him, it will just cost us 500K and he's a RFA next year. Basically, we've secured a young backup TE for peanuts.
What do you guys think?
::Broke the story again! xD::