It turns out Ben Watson was serious about ending his brief retirement.
The veteran tight end is meeting with the New England Patriots on Thursday as he plots an NFL comeback, ESPN's Adam Schefter reported Thursday.
Watson also is considering the Kansas City Chiefs, Buffalo Bills and San Francisco 49ers, per Schefter.
The 38-year-old began his NFL career in New England in 2004, winning a Super Bowl during his first season with the Patriots and amassing 2,102 yards and 20 touchdowns on 167 receptions over six seasons.
Watson most recently played for the New Orleans Saints, catching 35 passes for 400 yards in a relatively productive age-37 season.
The Patriots would seem to be a natural fit for Watson as they search for Rob Gronkowski's replacement. The Pats signed Austin Seferian-Jenkins to a one-year contract this offseason but have only Stephen Anderson, Ryan Izzo, Matt LaCosse and undrafted free-agent signee Andrew Beck behind him on the depth chart after losing Dwyane Allen and Jacob Hollister, as well.
Schefter reported two weeks ago he "(wouldn't) be surprised" if Watson landed with his former team, and it appears the Patriots are at least exploring the possibility.