- Mike Reiss, ESPN Staff Writer
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FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Patriots coach Bill Belichick discussed the team's decision to claim Giants tight end Jake Ballard, saying there are no unwritten rules in the NFL about backing away from other teams' injured players.
Tha Giants had waived Ballard on Monday with the intention of placing him on their physically unable to perform/reserve list.
When asked about the opinion that it might be inappropriate to claim an injured player from another team, Belichick said, "First of all, there aren't any unwrittens. ... You can't negotiate a contract, release him, and then re-negotiate another contract with him that was already done in advance. I'm sure the Giants weren't doing that. So the player is on waivers, he's on waivers -- ours or anybody else's. I don't know what unwrittens you're talking about. ... Any time you put a player on waivers, you know there are 31 teams out there that can take him if they want him. We all know that. There is no secrets about that."
Asked what the Patriots like about Ballard, Belichick said, "He obviously had a real productive year last year and we'll just see how all that goes. We haven't seen him yet."
Belichick said Ballard, who totaled 38 catches for 604 yards and four touchdowns in the 2011 regular season, would probably arrive later Wednesday. Belichick was asked when Ballard might be medically cleared.
"I don't know, but we wouldn't comment on injuries even if we did," he said, smiling.