Agent: Patriots claim TE Ballard

The New England Patriots have claimed former New York Giants tight end Jake Ballard, who was waived/failed physical by New York on Monday, according to Ballard's agent Blake Baratz.

Ballard suffered a torn ACL in the Giants' Super Bowl XLVI win over the Patriots, and after undergoing microfracture surgery is expected to miss part or all of the 2012 season. By claiming Ballard, the Patriots will likely keep Ballard on their active roster until placing him on the Physically Unable to Perform list or injured reserve before the start of the regular season.

The Patriots now own Ballard's rights, and inherit his one-year, $540,000 contract. He will be an exclusive-rights free agent after this season, meaning the Patriots will control his rights heading into the 2013 season.

In 2010, the Patriots claimed safety Josh Barrett after he was waived/injured by the Broncos. They stashed him on injured reserve that season before he returned to the Patriots in 2011, starting four games.

ESPN New York's Ohm Youngmisuk had more yesterday on Ballard being waived by the Giants. The 6-foot-6, 275-pound Ballard started 13 games for the Giants last season, recording 38 receptions for 604 yards and four touchdowns.