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Dec 29, 2013; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Arizona Cardinals tight end Jake Ballard (86) against the San Francisco 49ers at University of Phoenix Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Cardinals' Jake Ballard Retires From The NFL

Jake Ballard retired from the NFL today after just four season in the league.

According to Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio, Ballard cites his knee injury from 2012  for his early retirement.

“Yesterday I made the difficult decision to retire from the game of football. I love this game and have put my heart and soul into it for as long as I can remember. After sustaining a serious knee injury while playing for the New York Giants in the Super Bowl, my body never felt the same. Having a quality of life after football is very important to me and I have witnessed it taken away from others. I will miss the game tremendously, but I am ready for this next chapter in my life. It was an honor and a privilege to play for the NY Giants, New England Patriots, and most recently the Arizona Cardinals. I met amazing people from all of my teammates, to opponents, to trainers, to coaches, to owners, and everyone in between. I thank you for allowing me to be a part of your fraternity and I wish you all nothing but success.”

Jake Ballard was in line to win the starting tight end position on the Cardinals, but the 26 year-old, Ohio State product, seemed to be unsure of his abilities and to continue would put himself at a substantial risk.

Many fans are disappointed in Jake Ballard’s announcement because of the great talent and potential he could have brought to the Cardinals.

His best season came in 2011 while playing for the New York Giants. Ballard racked up 38 catches for 604 yards and four touchdowns. Unfortunately, he tore his ACL in Super Bowl XLVI against the Patriots and never returned to that level of play.

The timing is a little odd though considering training camp is already in motion. Jake Ballard only played in three games last season for Arizona and was able to tally just seven receptions for 75 yards and two touchdowns.

It is sad to see Ballard go but it is commendable for a man to consider life after football.

For all of the latest Arizona Cardinals news, stick with us at Heat Waved and check back daily to read the more from your favorite Arizona teams. 

Tags: Arizona Cardinals Jake Ballard

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