Brady posted to Instagram on Wednesday morning with a long message that pretty much confirmed he will not retire in 2020. Many of his Patriots teammates replied to the post with some sort of motivational or other positive message.
The most heartfelt response came from Watson. Here's what the 38-year-old tight end wrote to Brady:
"No bro. We all need to be thanking you! Your leadership is an inspiration, your example exemplary, and your fire is contagious. Generations of players have been blessed to take the field and share the locker room with you. You made everyone better and made us appreciate this game all the more. You taught us the importance of TEAM and that winning is not by chance. It’s by choice, in every drill when the lights and cameras are no where to be seen. And even though your stardom is unmatched you still take time hug our kids, wives and parents, sign all the stuff people send you and have normal conversations lol. Kindness lasts forever. Play as long as you desire to. This decade needs some TB records as well. Fan for life #LFG"
New England Patriots tight end Benjamin Watson hasn't officially announced his retirement, but he hinted that it's a possibility after the defending Super Bowl champs suffered a season-ending loss to the Tennessee Titans on Saturday night.
Watson posted an emotional Instagram on Monday that touched on quite a few subjects. In a lengthy caption, the 38-year-old veteran expressed his disappointment in how the season ended, wished the remaining playoff teams good luck, and noted how thankful he was for the opportunity, among other things.
There's a great amount of mutual respect between Brady and Watson, who have spent a total of seven seasons as teammates.
When the veteran tight end was released by the Patriots in October, Brady said it was "tough" hearing that news and called Watson a "great player" and a man of the "highest integrity." Watson was very appreciative of the remarks and told WEEI at the time, "I love that guy," in reference to Brady.
After what very well could have been the last game of both of their careers, Ben Watson and Matthew Slater had an emotional moment.
The two New England Patriots veterans shared a long hug in what may turn out to be their final moments on an NFL field.
An emotional moment for Matthew Slater and Ben Watson as Watson may be walking off an NFL field for the last time. Two of the classiest players to ever don a Patriots uniform pic.twitter.com/o6N9g4lcfC
Watson hinted at retirement immediately after the Patriots' loss to the Tennessee Titans stating he "definitely won't be back here next year, probably, and probably won't be playing at all." The 39-year-old tight end announced his retirement in December 2018 after a stint with the New Orleans Saints, only to return to the Patriots in 2019 on a one-year deal.
Slater, 34, wouldn't commit to playing a 13th NFL season after Saturday night's game. I’m going to make sure I’m doing what God wants me to do," he said. "Hopefully that’s to keep playing, but we’ll see how it goes."
The All-Pro special teamer is set to become an unrestricted free agent.
Both players have made a tremendous impact on the Patriots organization not only for their play on the field, but also for their class and leadership off of it. Whatever decision they make, their legacy in Foxboro will not be forgotten.