Benjamin Watson

Benjamin Watson

Tight End #82
Team:New England
Ht / Wt:6'3" / 255 lb.
Born:December 18, 1980
Drafted:2004 / Rd. 1 (32)
Draft Team:NE

Benjamin Watson: 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.

October 18, 2019 3:16 PM EST

Benjamin Watson: 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.

October 15, 2019 11:04 AM EST

Benjamin Watson: 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.

October 14, 2019 10:09 AM EST

Benjamin Watson: 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.

October 7, 2019 1:10 PM EST

Benjamin Watson: 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.

October 5, 2019 9:42 AM EST

Benjamin Watson: 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.

October 3, 2019 9:51 AM EST

Benjamin Watson: 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.

September 30, 2019 9:05 AM EST

Benjamin Watson: 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.

August 23, 2019 6:04 AM EST

Benjamin Watson: 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.

August 9, 2019 1:42 PM EST

Benjamin Watson: 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

Benjamin Watson: 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

Benjamin Watson: Expected to sign with Patriots

Watson (appendix) is expected to sign a contract with the Patriots in the near future, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reports.

Analysis: There are still a "few issues" to sort out, but those issues aren't expected to hold up the deal and it looks like the 14-year vet will return to the team that made him a first-round pick in 2004. Watson figures to step into the No. 1 role in the wake of Rob Gronkowski's retirement, with Austin Seferian-Jenkins on hand to serve as a receiving complement.

May 9, 2019 12:03 PM EST

Benjamin Watson: Visiting with Patriots

Ansah (appendix) plans to continue his football career and is visiting with the Patriots on Thursday, Adam Schefter of ESPN reports.

Analysis: Watson missed the NFC Championship Game due to appendicitis and then considered a transition to the broadcast booth after the season. The Saints replaced him with Jared Cook in March, but plenty of other teams could still benefit from Watson's presence, including the franchise that drafted him in the first round back in 2004. The 38-year-old tight end reportedly also has interest from the Bills, Chiefs and 49ers if things don't work out with New England. A Patriots reunion would offer the most potential for fantasy value, but even that might be a stretch at this point in Watson's career.

May 9, 2019 5:19 AM EST

Benjamin Watson: Considering returning for 16th season

Watson (appendix) is considering returning to the NFL for his 16th season, Adam Schefter of ESPN reports.

Analysis: Watson appeared poised for retirement following the Saints' NFC Championship loss, but the veteran tight end may not be willing to hang up the laces just yet. The 38-year-old was a surprisingly critical factor in the team's offense for much of last season, registering 400 receiving yards and two touchdowns despite starting just four games, forcing tight ends Josh Hill and Dan Arnold to take on more of a supporting role. The Saints clearly value Watson's leadership, but even if the 14-year vet were to return for another season, it's unclear if it would be for New Orleans considering the offseason addition of Jared Cook.

April 20, 2019 2:59 PM EST

Benjamin Watson: Could move to broadcasting

Watson (appendix) is drawing interest from ESPN for a job on television, Michael McCarthy of The Sporting News reports.

Analysis: A generous broadcasting offer could tilt the 38-year-old tight end toward retirement if he's on the fence, though he'd likely still have opportunities if he waited another year or two. Watson started four of 16 games for the Saints in 2018, hauling in 35 of 46 targets for 400 yards and two touchdowns while averaging 32 snaps per game. Appendicitis held him out of the NFC Championship Game, but he should be healthy soon enough, if he isn't already. Watson presumably doesn't have any interest in playing for a team besides New Orleans.

February 15, 2019 7:36 AM EST

Benjamin Watson: Not suiting up Sunday

Watson (illness) is listed as inactive Sunday against the Rams, Nick Underhill of The New Orleans Advocate reports.

Analysis: Watson's availability for the NFC Championship Game was clouded when appendicitis was revealed as the reason for his absence from practice Wednesday and Thursday. Despite the diagnosis, he so far has avoided surgery and even was a limited participant at Friday's session, leading to a questionable designation. However, his condition hasn't improved enough to reintroduce him to the rigors of tight end. In Watson's stead, Josh Hill, Garrett Griffin and Dan Arnold will hold down the position in the Saints offense.

January 20, 2019 10:41 AM EST

Benjamin Watson: Questionable, but not expected to play

Watson is officially listed as questionable for Sunday's NFC Championship Game versus the Rams. However, he isn't expected to play due to appendicitis, Katherine Terrell of reports.

Analysis: The Saints merely termed Watson's condition an illness all week, but despite the diagnosis, he followed up back-to-back absences with a limited showing at Friday's session. Considering his listing of "questionable," he appears to have a shot to suit up this weekend, however dire his health may seem. Unless his condition worsens, expect Watson's status to remain in limbo until the Saints release their inactive list 90 minutes before Sunday's 3:05 PM ET kickoff. No matter if Watson is available, Josh Hill, Garrett Griffin and Dan Arnold are on hand to ensure tight end is covered.

January 18, 2019 2:42 PM EST

Benjamin Watson: Diagnosed with appendicitis

Watson will be held out of Sunday's NFC Championship Game against the Rams due to appendicitis, Katherine Terrell of reports.

Analysis: Watson kicked off the week with back-to-back absences as a result of an illness, which now has been clarified. So far, he's sidestepped surgery, but the situation is severe enough for the veteran to be ruled out well in advance of Sunday's contest. Watson has declared his intention to retire after this season, so a Saints loss Sunday would put an end to a 15-year career. Expect Josh Hill, Garrett Griffin and Dan Arnold to hold down the fort at tight end this weekend.

January 18, 2019 12:42 PM EST

Benjamin Watson: Held out again Thursday

Watson (illness) didn't practice Thursday, Josh Katzenstein of The New Orleans Times-Picayune reports.

Analysis: Watson has played second fiddle to fellow tight end Josh Hill in terms of offensive snap count for most of the campaign. That said, Watson is the superior receiving option, especially in the red zone, so his status will be one to monitor in advance of Sunday's NFC Championship Game against the Rams. Friday's injury report will provide the final word on his potential to suit up.

January 17, 2019 4:32 PM EST

Benjamin Watson: Comes down with illness

Watson was listed as a non-participant on Wednesday's injury report due to an illness, Mike Triplett of reports.

Analysis: Since his intention to retire after this season came to light in late December, Watson likely will take every measure to take the field during the Saints' postseason run. As a result, an appearance at practice Thursday or Friday may not be mandatory for the veteran tight end to take the field for Sunday's NFC Championship Game versus the Rams.

January 16, 2019 4:22 PM EST

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