Patriots

Benjamin Watson replies to Tom Brady's latest Instagram with heartfelt message

Benjamin Watson replies to Tom Brady's latest Instagram with heartfelt message

One of the reasons why Benjamin Watson returned to the New England Patriots in 2019 was to play alongside quarterback Tom Brady.

Even though the season ended in disappointment for the Patriots, Watson was very thankful for another opportunity to pursue a championship in New England.

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.

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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"

In case you didn't see it, Brady left a similarly emotional message on one of Watson's recent Instagram posts.

Watson has not announced his retirement, but he admitted it's an option after Saturday's playoff loss to the Tennessee Titans.

There's no doubt Watson cherished every chance he had to take the field with Brady, and the two players certainly have a strong bond that should stand the test of time.

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Updated Patriots cornerback depth chart after Michael Jackson trade with Lions

Updated Patriots cornerback depth chart after Michael Jackson trade with Lions

The New England Patriots added even more depth to an elite group of cornerbacks Sunday by acquiring Michael Jackson in a trade with the Detroit Lions.

Jackson, who's listed at 6-foot-1 and 210 pounds, was a fifth-round draft pick by the Dallas Cowboys in 2019. The Detroit Lions signed him off the Cowboys practice squad last season and he played in one game for the NFC North team.

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Here's an updated look at the Patriots' cornerback depth chart with Jackson in the fold:

--Stephon Gilmore
--Jason McCourty
--J.C. Jackson
--Jonathan Jones
--Joejuan Williams
--Michael Jackson
--Myles Bryant
--D’Angelo Ross

It should be noted that Justin Bethel is listed at cornerback, but most of his snaps come on special teams. 

A strong case could be made that cornerback is the deepest position on the Patriots roster. The group is led by Stephon Gilmore, who became the first Patriot ever to win the AP's NFL Defensive Player of the Year Award in 2019. Gilmore is the league's best cornerback and has earned first team All-Pro selections in back-to-back seasons. 

He's not the only talented cornerback in the Patriots secondary, though. 

J.C. Jackson excelled in coverage last season, too, especially on passes beyond 20 yards. In fact, Jackson had the lowest passer rating allowed when targeted of all cornerbacks in 2019, according to Pro Football Focus.

One of the most intriguing players in the Patriots secondary is second-year cornerback Joejuan Williams. He was a second-round pick out of Vanderbilt in 2019 but saw limited playing time as a rookie.

The depth of the Patriots defense has been hit hard in recent months due to free agent departures and veterans opting out of the 2020 season amid concerns over COVID-19. One position that has remained largely intact is cornerback, and barring any significant injuries, it could be the team's most productive position this coming season.

Patriots acquire CB Michael Jackson in trade with Lions

Patriots acquire CB Michael Jackson in trade with Lions

The New England Patriots have added another cornerback to their depth chart.

On Sunday, they announced they've acquired Michael Jackson from the Detroit Lions for an undisclosed 2022 draft pick.


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Jackson was selected in the fifth round of the 2019 NFL Draft (158th overall) by the Dallas Cowboys out of Miami. He started his rookie season on Dallas' practice squad before being signed by Detroit.

The 23-year-old played in only one game last season for the Lions.

Jackson joins a Patriots cornerback group that currently consists of Stephon Gilmore, Jonathan Jones, Joejuan Williams, Jason McCourty, J.C. Jackson, D'Angelo Ross, Justin Bethel, and Myles Bryant.