“Obviously just shocked,” Manning said, when asked about Ballard in an interview on “SportsCenter.” “I knew because we were going to put him on IR — kind of just the rules of how things go before you put someone on IR who is not vested — we had to waive him thinking no one would pick him up because of his injury and probably not being able to play this year.
“And the Patriots of course kind of sweep in and steal him from us.” -via http://espn.go.com/blog/new-york/giants
Obviously, Eli and Ballard had developed a good rapport and helped to add to it in the future. Ballard came in as an undrafted player and caught 30 passes for 604 yards and four touchdowns last season. Now Ballard is gone, and Eli will have to break in a new tight end for the third straight year in a row.
I find it interesting how Eli said that the Patriots stole him from the Giants. I guess in a subtle way he’s taking a shot at New England for claiming him. In the end Eli can look at his two rings he got against the Pats and be okay with that for now.