No, they're not related stories, except that they both involve New York Giants players, but I've been on the road for the past four and a half hours and I'm catching up, so you get two stories in one.
First, Giants offensive lineman David Diehl, who was arraigned Monday on charges of drunk driving, is due back in court on the first scheduled day of Giants training camp and seems appropriately contrite.
"I've worked hard during my career to set a positive example, and yesterday I fell far short of this standard," Diehl wrote on Twitter at 6:48 pm ET. "I apologize to my family, my fans, my teammates, the New York Giants, and the NFL. I made a poor decision that I sincerely regret, and, as always, take full responsibility for my actions."
If this had happened with a player who came with a more established knucklehead reputation than Diehl's, people would be jumping all over the guy. But Diehl's previously clean record shouldn't give him a complete pass here. Drunk driving is a stupid, selfish, completely avoidable crime, and criticizing and punishing high-profile people who commit it is a worthy endeavor, since doing so could discourage others from committing the same crime. While Diehl has not been convicted, his public apology gives us license to make certain assumptions. And assuming he did what he is accused of doing, he is not and should not be immune from punishment or criticism. I'm sure he'd agree. He's a stand-up guy. Even good guys make bad mistakes sometimes, and this appears to be a case of a really bad decision by an otherwise solid citizen. I do not know if the NFL will suspend him for this, but it's within the league's right and power to do so, and until he's had his day in court Giants fans will have to wonder whether the team will have to play without him for a game or two this year.
As for Ballard, the 2011 breakout tight end who tore his ACL in the Super Bowl, he was released, but it appears as though the team plans to re-sign him Tuesday (assuming he clears waivers) and put him on injured reserve. Ballard was always a long shot to return this year, and now it appears as though the team is looking at him as a 2013 possibility if anything. Kind of nothing to see here, but I figured some of you might have seen the news that he was released and been wondering what was up with that.
Per that last link there, the Giants also have re-signed defensive tackle Rocky Bernard for defensive line depth. So, bit of a busy June day with the Giants, who open their minicamp Tuesday along with the rest of our division's teams.