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By: Ian Logue/PatsFans.com
August 16, 2004

Alan Branch mum on suspension, happy to be back: 'I love it here'

Jabaal Sheard increases workload, Jonathan Cooper appears at practice

Patriots waive Bryan Stork, ending bizarre week of transactions

Bill Belichick explains thought process behind choosing QB starter for Giants game

Source: Terrance Knighton released by Patriots

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Great Night
The Patriots defense stepped up in a big way during New England's 19-17 win over the Panthers on Friday night.

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Ben Watson's contract holdout has finally come to an end, with the team announcing on Monday that the first-round draft pick has signed a contract with the team.

According to the Metrowest Daily News the deal is for six years and was reached early this morning, and includes combined bonuses of $4 million and a total potential value of $13.5 million. Watson is reportedly expected to begin practicing with his new teammates on Monday.

Watson parted ways with agent Tom Condon on Friday, which reportedly helped spark negotiations. According to the newspaper Georgia-based Patrick Dye Jr. negotiated the contract. Watson took part in New England's June minicamp while unsigned and has also reportedly been studying the playbook and attending team meetings.

Watson said in an interview recently with Steve Cohen on Sirius NFL Radio that he had some philosophical differences with Condon during his contract negotiations with the Patriots and that's the reason why he went with Dye Jr.

"Tom and I just had some philosophical differences about the contract and just about where we wanted to go with this," Watson said when asked about his decision to sever ties with his agent. "The big deal with the contract was the length. The Patriots were trying to sign me you for the next six years, so that was the big issue with our contract negotiations so far".

The signing of the first round pick ends his 18 day holdout with the team.


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