Jake Ballard

Jake Ballard To Retire

Tight end Jake Ballard has opted to end his playing career, announcing his retirement today. Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk passes along Ballard’s statement, in which he says it was an honor to spend time with the Giants, Patriots, and Cardinals.

“I love this game and have put my heart and soul into it for as long as I can remember,” Ballard said. “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.”

Prior to sustaining that ACL injury, Ballard had his best season as a pro in 2011, compiling 604 receiving yards on 38 receptions and scoring four touchdowns. The 26-year-old had re-signed with the Cardinals this offseason, so Arizona will open up a roster spot now that Ballard is heading toward retirement.

Cardinals Re-Sign Jake Ballard

The Cardinals have re-signed Jake Ballard to a one-year deal, according to Darren Urban of AZCardinals.com (link goes to Twitter). Arizona opted not to extend a tender to the restricted free agent, but he’ll be back in Arizona, presumably on a cheaper deal.

Within the tweet, Urban adds that the Cards have also cut guard Daryn Colledge.

Contract Tenders: Dobbs, Lattimore, Bears

The 49ers are expected to extend the restricted free agent tender to defensive lineman Demarcus Dobbs and extend a tender to exclusive rights free agent Michael Wilhoite, tweets Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee. We’ll keep track of the latest contract tenders here..