When Christian Ballard suddenly left the team the timing felt odd, as did the mystery surrounding the circumstances. He left the squad on August 18th, so an entire month passed before he finally decided to speak with the media about his decision, and it was Tom Pelissero of USA Today that got the scoop (we miss ya, Tom).
Ballard claims his decision to leave Minnesota, and the Vikings, was simply his attempt at escaping a lifestyle that wasn’t working for him. I won’t recap all of the quotes, as you can read them in the article, but this just sounds like one of those cases where a young man decided to sacrifice a lot of money and notoriety in exchange for some new scenery.
It is hard to tell whether this decision of his will turn out to wise or foolish, but things haven’t been perfect for him back in Kansas. On Thursday, he was reportedly arrested for domestic battery, and spent time behind bars despite not being charged with anything.
The Vikings hold Ballard’s rights for another two years and he has not ruled out an eventual return to the NFL. With that being said, I’m not sure how welcoming the Vikings locker room would be towards a guy that abandoned his post just weeks before the regular season, and I suspect we have seen the last of him in purple.
The Vikings used a fourth round pick on Ballard in 2011.