Benjamin Watson Jersey

Ben Watson, who spent 14 years in the NFL as a reliable pass-catching tight end, announced Thursday that he plans to retire from professional football at the age of 38, per Josh Katzenstein of the Times-Picayune.

Watson has played all 15 games this season with the New Orleans Saints, ranking third on the team with 33 catches to go with his 371 yards and two touchdowns.

A first-round draft pick of the New England Patriots in 2004, Watson’s career started on a rough note when a knee injury derailed his rookie campaign after just one game.

“That was devastating for me,” Watson said of the injury, per the Baltimore Sun’s Childs Walker. “A lot of my identity was tied up in football and my performance, as it should be as a professional. But I was all over the place emotionally. I was a jerk to be around when I was hurt. I felt like I was worthless because I couldn’t do anything. And now having that perspective 14 years later, I have a better perspective on my value being not so tied up in football and my performance.”

Fortunately, that injury didn’t prove disastrous in the long run.

Watson rebounded and appeared in at least 12 games each of the next five seasons, and he finished his career in New England with 167 receptions for 2,102 yards and 20 touchdowns.

The University of Georgia product spent the next six years split evenly between the Cleveland Browns and New Orleans Saints, and his final season during his first stint in the Big Easy proved to be the most productive of his career.

Over 16 appearances in 2015, Watson hauled in 74 receptions on 110 targets for 825 yards and six scores.

Watson spent the next two years with the Ravens, but he never sniffed the field in 2016 after tearing his Achilles during the preseason. However, Watson rebounded with aplomb and proved solid with 522 receiving yards and four touchdowns in 2017.

He returned to the Saints this season, in what appears to be his final campaign in the NFL, rejoining a good friend in Drew Brees. The tight end caught Brees’ 500th touchdown pass earlier this year, which led to some high praise from the quarterback.

“One of the greatest things about the 500th touchdown pass, it was caught by one of my favorite teammates of all time,” Brees said of Watson, per Luke Johnson of the Times-Picayune. “I couldn’t think of a better guy to catch this touchdown than Ben Watson. He is a terrific veteran, and I look up to him.”

Ultimately, that kind of leadership will likely be what Watson is remembered for.

After reports surfaced Thursday morning about the New England Patriots hosting free agent tight end Ben Watson for a visit, the two sides have come to an agreement on a one-year deal worth $3 million, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

Watson, 38, who had announced last season that he would retire but changed his mind in the offseason, fills perhaps the biggest need on the Patriots roster.

After reports surfaced Thursday morning about the New England Patriots hosting free agent tight end Ben Watson for a visit, the two sides have come to an agreement on a one-year deal worth $3 million, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

Watson, 38, who had announced last season that he would retire but changed his mind in the offseason, fills perhaps the biggest need on the Patriots roster.
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Watson returns to New England, where he was drafted in 2004. He played six seasons in New England (2004-2009) and later spent time with the Cleveland Browns, New Orleans Saints and Baltimore Ravens.

He played in 71 games with the Patriots, making 47 starts and recording 2,102 yards on 167 receptions. He also scored 20 touchdowns.

Watson played his 2018 season with quarterback Drew Brees and the Saints where he had 35 receptions while playing in all 16 games (four starts). He also recorded 400 yards receiving with two touchdowns last year.

Watson has 5,885 receiving yards on 530 catches and 44 touchdowns in his career.

He will bolster a tight end group that lost Rob Gronkowski to retirement and has a depth chart of Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Stephen Anderson and Matt LaCosse.

Former New Orleans Saints tight end Benjamin Watson is ending his retirement to sign with the Patriots, according to The NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport.

Watson reportedly also considered the Kansas City Chiefs, Buffalo Bills and San Francisco 49ers before signing with New England.

Watson, 38, announced that he was going to retire at the end of the 2018 season. He caught 35 passes for 400 yards and two touchdowns last season, playing in all 16 regular season games.

Watson was originally drafted by the Patriots in the first round of the 2004 draft, spending six seasons there.

The 14-year-veteran has also played for Cleveland Browns and the Baltimore Ravens as well as his two stints with Saints.

He won a championship with New England after the team’s victory over the Philadelphia Eagles in Super Bowl XXXIX, although he missed the game with a knee injury.

In his career, he has 530 receptions for 5,885 yards and 44 touchdowns.

The Buffalo Bills might not be done reshaping their depth chart at tight end.

According to a report Thursday from ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the team has expressed at least some interest in tight end Benjamin Watson, who after flirting with retirement has decided to continue his playing career.

It’s possible that the Bills don’t get a chance to sign Watson, depending on what happens with his visit to New England — where he started his NFL career.

Watson, 38, has played 14 NFL seasons, making 530 catches for 5,885 yards and 44 touchdowns. Four of the past five seasons have been spent with the New Orleans Saints, with one year spent with the Baltimore Ravens in 2017. In addition to the Patriots, Watson has also played for the Cleveland Browns. He is widely respected around the NFL for his character, and would give the Bills a veteran leader at the position.

After releasing Charles Clay earlier this offseason, the Bills have added Tyler Kroft and converted offensive tackle Jake Fisher from the Bengals as free agents this offseason, and also drafted a pair of tight ends – Ole Miss’ Dawson Knox in the third round and Boston College’s Tommy Sweeney in the seventh.

Tight end Benjamin Watson only announced his retirement from the NFL at the end of December. Now, according to a tweet from ESPN’s Adam Schefter, he may be looking to come back to play if he is coming back to “the right situation.”

What the right situation would be for Benjamin Watson would probably hinge on a few factors but paramount would be the chances of the new team winning a Super Bowl. The 38-year old isn’t in a place to demand a big paycheck. While his 2018 was not awful, nobody is going to pay top money for a tight end who only produced 400 yards and two touchdowns in his last year.

There are a lot of obligatory articles floating around today from several cities asking the question if Benjamin Watson is the right fit for whatever team the article’s writer is writing for. There are pieces suggesting this place is better suited than that because of a list of reasons. Watson and his wife are expecting twins next week and maybe it’s money is a suggestion.

This story seems to cry out for one three word answer, New England Patriots. It doesn’t make sense in New Orleans. The team just snagged Jared Cook, the best free agent tight end on the 2019 market. They also just extended veteran tight end Josh Hill with a three-year, $8.85 million deal. That’s already a good bit of money invested in the position.

Then there are Garrett Griffin and Dan Arnold on the roster providing depth. This is also considered a likely draft for the team to bring in another rookie. New Orleans might be the least likely “right situation” in that regard.

New England, on the other hand, just lost Rob Gronkowski and have the NFL equivalent of pillows under sheets to look like tight ends when the guards come by at night for headcount currently on the roster.

There’s a lot of talk that they’ll be taking a tight end in the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft next week, perhaps Iowa’s Noah Fant. What better situation than for Benjamin Watson to come back to the team that drafted him in 2004 to help coach and mentor Gronkowski’s replacement?

Reports are making it sound as if Watson has thought about it, decided he’s still got the fire in his belly and will see what offers come along now. It’s much more likely that he was approached by the Patriots with an opportunity and then decided he might still have the fire in his belly.

In answer to the burning question for Who Dats, no. It makes no sense at all. In answer to other questions, no. There probably wasn’t anything illegal about how this one was handled.

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