Watson should be a familiar name to New England fans. He spent six seasons with the Patriots catching 167 passes and 20 touchdowns before leaving as a free agent to the Cleveland Browns prior to the 2010 season.
Fans will always remember the speed he showed chasing down Denver CB Champ Bailey from the far side of the field during the Divisional Playoff Game there in 2006. A very athletic tight end, Watson never really had the impact that was projected for him during his time here.
He had three productive years in Cleveland with the Browns catching 154 passes for 1674 yards and eight touchdowns before moving over to the New Orleans Saints. After two sub-par seasons, Watson had a re-birth with the Saints and Drew Brees in 2015 catching 74 passes for 825 yards, both career highs and six touchdowns. He was one of Brees’ most trusted targets and now is a free agent.
At 35, Watson isn’t going to command a ton of money and may decide to return to New Orleans to finish out his career where he seems to have found a niche in their passing game. But a return for the big guy from Georgia is an intriguing one where he started his NFL career.
Watson has always been a solid player not only on the field but off it as well, being a finalist for the Walter Payton Man of the Year award while in New Orleans. He was a favorite of owner Bob Kraft and traveled with the owner to Israel on one of Kraft’s many trips there to promote the game of football and tour the religious sites.
Watson knows the offense, although much has changed in the six years that he’s moved on, the terminology remains the same and he’d pick it back up seamlessly. As a second tight end behind Gronkowski, he’d prolong his career a bit and perhaps end things where they all began.
Next up, a big man from South Carolina who just was released…
Posted Under: Patriots Commentary
Tags: 2015 NFL Season 2015 Patriots 2016 free agents 2016 NFL off-season 2016 Patriots Roster 53 Man Roster Projection A.J. Derby Benjamin Watson Bryce Williams Dwayne Allen Jared Cook Jerrell Adams New England Patriots NFL Patriots Patriots free agents Patriots tight ends Pittsburgh Steelers Rob Gronkowski Scott Chandler. Michael Williams Tom Brady Tyler Higbee