Looking to strengthen their depth at tight end, the Arizona Cardinals signed Jake Ballard to a one-year contract on Monday.
Ballard, an undrafted free agent out of Ohio State, played 15 games from 2010-11 with the New York Giants. During that span, the 25-year-old caught 38 passes for 604 yards to go along with four touchdowns.
After a breakout year with the Giants in 2011, the 6-foot-6 tight end tore his ACL in the second half of the team’s 20-17 victory over the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLVI.
New York placed him on injured reserve while he recovered from the injury but doing so during the offseason allowed the Patriots to claim him off waivers.
Ballard sat out the entire 2012 season after being placed on New England’s Reserve/Physically Unable to Perform list. He did spend training camp with the Patriots this past August but failed to make the team’s roster.
To make room for Ballard, Arizona released rookie tight end D.C. Jefferson. Jefferson, a seventh-round pick out of Rutgers, appeared in four of the Cardinals’ first eight games in 2013.
At the midway point in the season, Cardinals’ tight ends have caught 26 passes for 222 yards and a touchdown.