After consecutive years of tearing his ACL, Ballard’s status with the Colts was said to be on the rocks prior to the 2015 season thanks to a hamstring injury. Ultimately, he was unable to make an impression on the coaching staff and front office in the offseason and his health situation led him to getting waived in mid-September.
Ballard, 26 in July, broke out in 2012, his rookie season with the Colts. The fifth-round draft pick ran for 814 yards off of 211 carries, good for an average of 3.9 yards per attempt. However, he has yet to do much ever since thanks to the aforementioned ACL problems. He did not sign with another NFL team last season and, last we heard, he auditioned for the Bears in December. Nearly five months later, he has finally found his new NFL home.
Reserve/futures contracts essentially function like regular free agent deals, except that only players who didn’t finish the previous season on an NFL team’s active roster can sign them. So a player on a practice squad could ink a futures contract, and many have in recent weeks. These deals are known as “futures” contracts because they don’t technically go into effect until the new league year begins. For more on reserve/futures deals, check out this detailed explanation from Pro Football Rumors.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.