Benjamin Watson

New England Patriots
Tight End #82
New England Patriots
Tight End #82

Benjamin Watson News

Ends playing career

Watson has decided to step away from the NFL as a player, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reports.

Analysis: The 39-year-old -- who the Patriots drafted 32nd overall in the 2004 NFL Draft -- re-joined New England for one final season in 2019, catching 17 passes for 173 yard in 10 games. Watson finishes up his pro playing career with 547 catches for 6,058 yards and 44 TDs over the course of NFL 205 games.

Mar 16, 2020 9:49 AM EST

Played through Achilles' issue

Watson relayed Friday that he suffered a torn Achilles during the 2019 season, Zack Cox of reports.

Analysis: The tight end didn't specify when the injury occurred, but it's obviously impressive that he was able to manage his Achilles' issue and remain on the field, en route to hauling in 17 of his 24 targets for 173 yards in 10 games. The 39-year-old, who the Patriots drafted in the first round of the 2004 NFL Draft, previoulsy indicated that he's likely to retire once his contract expires in March. If that's the case, he'll wrap up his pro career with 547 catches for 6,058 yards and 44 TDs over the course of 205 contests.

Jan 17, 2020 10:05 AM EST

Likely to retire

Watson caught three of four targets for 38 yards during Saturday's playoff loss to the Titans, but he indicated after the game he's likely to retire, Zack Cox of reports.

Analysis: The yardage was Watson's second-highest total of the season and the first time he eclipsed 20 receiving yards since Week 13 as both offenses had their share of struggles. The 39-year-old considered retirement last offseason but ultimately returned to New England, where he had 17 catches for 173 yards in 10 games. Watson has now completed 16 NFL seasons between stints with the Patriots, Browns, Saints and Ravens.

Jan 4, 2020 9:27 PM EST

Catches three passes in Week 16

Watson logged 31 of a possible 73 snaps on offense in Saturday's 24-17 win over the Bills, en route to catching all three of his targets for 15 yards.

Analysis: Fellow tight end Matt LaCosse saw 46 snaps in the contest and turned his only target into an eight-yard TD. Neither player is a high-percentage fantasy option in in Week 17 or the looming NFL postseason.

Dec 22, 2019 1:57 PM EST

Logs 34 snaps in Week 15

Watson, who was on the field for 34 of a possible 65 snaps on offense in Sunday's 34-13 win over the Bengals, was not targeted in the contest.

Analysis: Meanwhile, Matt LaCosse logged 49 snaps in the contest, while catching all three of his targets for 22 yards. At some point the Patriots could get their tight ends more involved in the passing attack, but that possibility is not something worth rolling the dice on at this stage of the fantasy season.

Dec 16, 2019 10:06 AM EST

Records one catch Sunday

Watson was on the field for 32 of a possible 67 snaps on offense in Sunday's 23-16 loss to the Chiefs.

Analysis: Watson caught one of his three targets in the contest for seven yards, while fellow tight end Matt LaCosse (54 snaps) caught two of his four targets for 14 yards. Neither of the two tight ends are high-percentage fantasy plays down the stretch.

Dec 9, 2019 2:00 PM EST

Hauls in 23-yard reception

Watson logged 47 of a possible 87 snaps on offense in Sunday's 28-22 loss to the Texans.

Analysis: Watson caught his only target in the game for 23 yards, while fellow tight end Matt LaCosse (53 snaps) hauled in one of his two targets for 24 yards. In the wake of back-to-back low-volume efforts, it'll be hard to trust Watson as a fantasy lineup option when the Patriots take on the Chiefs in Week 14.

Dec 2, 2019 8:57 AM EST

Zero catches in Week 12

Watson was on the field for 49 of a possible 70 snaps on offense in Sunday's 13-9 win over the Cowboys. He did not catch his lone target in the contest.

Analysis: Meanwhile, fellow tight end Matt LaCosse logged 34 snaps and caught his only target for five yards. Game flow/weather/personnel availability led to Watson doing plenty of blocking Sunday, but there will be weeks going forward in which he makes more of an impact as a pass-catcher. Even so, his fantasy upside is modest, given that he's yet to record a TD in five contests to date.

Nov 25, 2019 9:41 AM EST

Catches three passes for 52 yards Sunday

Watson caught three of his four targets for 52 yards in Sunday's 17-10 win over the Eagles.

Analysis: Per Mike Reiss of, Watson was on the field for 59 of the Patriots' 74 snaps on offense Sunday, while Matt LaCosse, in his return from a knee injury, logged 21 snaps, catching two of his three targets for three yards. As long as he can stay healthy, Watson will continue to serve as the Patriots' top pass-catching tight end, a role that's carried limited fantasy upside thus far, but does at least give the 38-year-old a degree of value in deeper PPR formats.

Nov 18, 2019 10:42 AM EST

Could have opportunities Monday night

With Ryan Izzo concussed and Matt LaCosse (knee) on track to miss Monday night's game against the Jets, Watson and Eric Tomlinson could head the Patriots' Week 7 tight end corps, Zack Cox of NESN reports.

Analysis: Neither Watson nor Tomlinson has played a regular-season snap for the Patriots this season, but with Tomlinson more of a blocker, Watson could end up being the team's top pass-catching tight end in Week 7. Even in such a scenario, he'd be a speculative lineup option Monday, but if he shows well, he could re-enter the fantasy equation with the Patriots, who haven't featured tight ends in their passing game very much to date.

Oct 18, 2019 3:16 PM EST

Back in New England

The Patriots officially re-signed Watson on Tuesday, Albert Breer of reports.

Analysis: Watson's return was expected due to the sprained MCL sustained by Matt LaCosse last Thursday against the Giants. As such, Watson's first appearance of the season appears imminent after serving a four-game suspension, sitting out Week 5 and being off the Patriots roster entirely Thursday. During LaCosse's absence, Watson will compete for reps with fellow tight ends Ryan Izzo and Eric Tomlinson.

Oct 15, 2019 11:04 AM EST

Return to Patriots expected

The Patriots are expected to re-sign Watson, Mike Reiss of reports.

Analysis: The team released Watson this past Monday, on the heels of the tight end having completed a four-game suspension. At the time, roster space issues were cited by coach Bill Belichick as the reason for the move, but with Matt LaCosse (knee) banged up again, Watson is a logical choice for the Patriots to seamlessly add needed depth at a thin position.

Oct 14, 2019 10:09 AM EST

Not activated by Patriots

Watson won't be placed on the Patriots' 53-man roster by Monday's deadline, making him a free agent Mike Reiss of reports.

Analysis: Watson completed his four-game suspension last week but wasn't added to the 53-man roster ahead of Week 5 as the Patriots took advantage of the week-long roster exemption, and it looks like they will allow the exemption to expire rather than putting him on the roster. According to Zack Cox of, the decision frees up about $2 million in cap space for New England, which is apparently content with Matt LaCosse and Ryan Izzo serving as its top tight ends. Watson considered retirement this offseason before ultimately signing with the Patriots in May, but he's still interested in continuing his career elsewhere, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network.

Oct 7, 2019 1:10 PM EST

Will not play Sunday

Watson (undisclosed) did not travel with the team to Washington and will not play Sunday, Field Yates of ESPN reports.

Analysis: It's unclear why Watson did not travel with the team, but in any case it means another start for Matt LaCosse, who combined with backup tight end Ryan Izzo, have hardly factored into the offense. Expect more information regarding Watson's Week 5 status to come sometime next week.

Oct 5, 2019 9:42 AM EST

Returns to practice

Watson practiced Thursday, Mike Reiss of reports.

Analysis: Watson, who is back from a four-game suspension, wasn't at practice Wednesday, but he took the field Thursday, which sets the stage for him to return to action Sunday against Washington. Through the Patriots' first four contests to date, fellow tight ends Matt LaCosse and Ryan Izzo have logged a combined four catches on five targets for 77 yards. Watson does posses a little more pass-catching upside than that duo, but it's unclear what sort of workload he'll be looking at this weekend in his first game action since January.

Oct 3, 2019 9:51 AM EST

Eligible to return in Week 5

Watson has completed his four-game suspension and will be eligible to rejoin the Patriots in Week 5, Nick O'Malley of reports.

Analysis: Through the Patriots' first four games this season, fellow tight ends Matt LaCosse and Ryan Izzo have recorded a combined four catches on five targets for 77 yards. Watson brings a little more pass-catching upside to the table than that duo, but he's not expected to come close to matching the fantasy production of the retired Rob Gronkowski. It remains to be seen how heavily the Patriots employ the 38-year-old Watson this coming Sunday against Washington, but he's probably worth scooping up, for those in a jam in terms of tight end depth.

Sep 30, 2019 9:05 AM EST

Dealing with concussion symptoms

Watson (suspended) entered the concussion protocol after Thursday's preseason win over Carolina, Jim McBride of The Boston Globe reports.

Analysis: Watson didn't technically start Thursday's contest, but he drew both of his targets -- including a 10-yard reception -- while Tom Brady was still in the game. Already suspended for the first four weeks of the regular season, the 38-year-old tight end should have plenty of time to recover from his concussion. The Patriots have a slew of candidates to earns snaps at tight end in September, with Matt LaCosse (ankle) seemingly the best bet to draw targets.

Aug 23, 2019 6:04 AM EST

Hauls in only target

Watson (suspension) logged 15 snaps and caught his only target for 14 yards in Thursday's preseason opener, a 31-3 win over the Lions.

Analysis: Watson is slated to serve a four-game suspension to start the coming season, but he's in a position to contribute upon his return, with the Patriots looking to fill the void created by Rob Gronkowski's retirement. In Watson's early-season absence, Matt LaCosse, Stephen Anderson and Lance Kendricks profile as candidates to fill pass-catching roles for the Patriots out of the tight end position.

Aug 9, 2019 1:42 PM EST

Facing four-game suspension

Watson announced Sunday that he was suspended for the first four games of the regular season after testing positive for a banned substance.

Analysis: Watson took the substance while he was planning for retirement and seeking out other career opportunities, and with that, it doesn't appear he will appeal the suspension. As a result, Watson will be ineligible to play until Week 5 of this upcoming season, which likely leaves Austin Seferian-Jenkins as the Patriots' top option at tight end for the first four weeks.

May 26, 2019 3:09 PM EST

Officially signs with New England

Watson (appendix) has officially signed a contract with the Patriots, Ben Volin of The Boston Globe reports.

Analysis: The deal is expected to be for one year and $3 million, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter, which is a slight pay raise from the one-year, $2 million deal Watson got from the Saints last offseason. The 38-year-old tight end immediately steps in as the presumed No. 1 option on the depth chart and should handle a role that offers obvious touchdown upside within a Tom Brady offense.

May 9, 2019 12:39 PM EST

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