While this may come as a surprise to some, it also bodes well for the health of Rob Gronkowski, as it's doubtful the Pats would cut two big bodies unless he was due to come back sooner rather than later. Plus, with the emergence of rookie Zach Sudfeld, Ballard and Fells became expendable. The prospect of Gronk and Sudfeld on the field at the same time is certainly a good one, but let's just hope that the rookie doesn't hit a wall as the season progresses.
I ultimately thought that Ballard would end up making the final roster, as he's a good blocking tight end and his size makes him a legit red zone threat, but he has certainly looked gimpy in limited action this preseason and it would appear that the coaching staff is comfortable with Gronk, Sudfeld, and Hoo-man as their primary tight ends.
More cuts to come over the next 24 hour or so.