Team Giants


Special Report

Sent: 05-17-19

Dave Klein was the Giants' beat writer for The Star-Ledger from 1961 to 1995.
He is the author of 26 books and he is one of only three sportswriters to have covered all the Super Bowls. Dave has allowed TEAM GIANTS to reprint some of his articles.


By Dave Klein
The Giants have added another draftee to the list of players signed, when they reached agreement with cornerback Corey Ballentine, a sixth-round pick from Division II Washburn in Topeka, Kan.

Ballentine, of course, is the unfortunate kid whose day of glory was cut short by a gunshot at 12:46 a.m. April 27 hours after he was drafted.

He was leaving an on-campus party with his teammate and roommate, Dwayne Simmons, when according to on-lookers, a car pulled up next to the pair, some words were exchanged and the car pulled away.

But then it circled back, once again approached the pair and shooting ensued. Simmons was fatally wounded. Ballentine was shot in the buttocks, a non-life-threatening wound, but will need time to heal and recover before he can compete in the team's minicamps and training camp.

Ballentine's contract is for four years and worth a total of $2.7 million, but as is often the case with low-drafted rookies, after a year or two of quality performance the original contract is usually torn up and a better, fatter one is substituted.

There has been no arrest or even identification of the shooter(s). According to Topeka police chief Bill Cochran, "there are a lot of working parts to this [investigation], a lot of individuals saw a lot of things that took place. We're very confident that we'll bring this to a conclusion. It might be another month or so, but we feel very confident."

Ballentine, 6-0 and 205, was one of three cornerbacks taken by the Giants in the recently concluded draft. The others were Deandre Baker (Georgia, first round) and Julian Love (Notre Dame, fourth round).

The Giants' next minicamp begins next Monday, May 20, and while Ballentine will be there, he will not be practicing. No such medical approval has been issued, and the thought is that it will take a considerable time before it is.

***** ***** *****

When the minicamp opens, one of the team's regulars, starting left tackle Nate Solder, will not be participating. The former New England Patriot, who became the league's highest-paid offensive lineman last season when he signed a veteran free agent contract with the Giants for four years and $62 million, recently underwent arthroscopic surgery on his ankle to remove bone spurs.

He started all 16 games for the Giants last season. The 6-8, 325-pound Solder, a first-round draft pick by New England in 2011 out of the University of Colorado.

Check out Dave's website at E-GIANTS where you can subscribe to his newsletters which run much more frequently than what is available here.
- Team Giants

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