It appears there’s a chance a former Patriots tight end could come out of retirement and return to New England.
No, we’re not talking about Rob Gronkowski. At least not for now.
Benjamin Watson decided to hang up his pads following the 2018 NFL season, his 15th in the league. Watson’s retirement might be short-lived, though, as ESPN’s Adam Schefter is under the impression the door is open for the 38-year-old to walk back on his decision and join the Patriots.
Watson, a first-round pick by the Patriots in 2004, played the first six seasons of his NFL career in New England. The veteran tight end has played a full 16-game slate in seven of the past 10 seasons but lost his entire 2016 campaign due to a torn Achilles. Watson’s most productive season came in 2015 when he caught 74 passes for 825 yards with six touchdowns for the New Orleans Saints.
The Patriots took a step in addressing their tight end needs when they signed Austin Seferian-Jenkins in free agency and it wouldn’t be shocking if they bolstered their depth at the position through the draft. New England is in desperate need of impact pass-catchers at this stage in the game, and Watson might not have enough left in the tank to check that box.
That said, Watson’s familiarity with New England’s system could appeal to Bill Belichick, who has a strong track record of getting the most out of seasoned players. As such, we probably shouldn’t totally rule out a Watson homecoming in Foxboro.
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