Patriots

NFL rumors: Patriots sign Ben Watson to one-year, $3 million contract

usatsi_11306584.jpg
USA TODAY Sports

NFL rumors: Patriots sign Ben Watson to one-year, $3 million contract

UPDATE, FRIDAY, 5 p.m.: Patriots make it official

A familiar face is coming back to Gillette Stadium.

Tight end Benjamin Watson, who was in Foxboro on Thursday to visit with his former team, intends to sign with the New England Patriots.

The 38-year-old tight end retired shortly after last season, but clearly he's had a change of heart.

Watson spent the first six seasons of his NFL career with the Patriots after they selected him in the first round of the 2004 NFL Draft. He tallied 167 receptions for 2,102 yards and 20 touchdowns with the Patriots. Watson played for the Cleveland Browns, Baltimore Ravens and New Orleans Saints after leaving New England. He spent the 2018 campaign with the Saints.

The Patriots still need to add depth at tight end following the offseason departures of Rob Gronkowski (retirement) and Dwayne Allen (released). Watson is a solid choice given what's available right now. He tallied 35 receptions for 400 yards and two touchdowns last season. He's also a high-character teammate and a very good blocker.

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Celtics easily on your device.

Shawne Merriman's hilarious Father's Day tweet will make Patriots fans smile

usatsi_12070922.jpg
USA TODAY Sports

Shawne Merriman's hilarious Father's Day tweet will make Patriots fans smile

Shawne Merriman is no fan of the New England Patriots, but his son's allegiances seems to differ a bit.

The former Los Angeles Chargers star posted a Father's Day tweet Sunday with a photo of his son getting ready to buy a Tom Brady Patriots jersey with a Super Bowl LI patch, and the three-time Pro Bowler's reaction is priceless. 

A Brady jersey probably is the last piece of NFL apparel that Merriman would want his son to buy, given his history with the Patriots.

Merriman still hasn't forgotten about the Patriots coming into San Diego and defeating the 14-2 Chargers in the 2006 AFC Divisional Round. It was the Chargers' best team in a long time, and after the Patriots won in dramatic fashion, some New England players mocked Merriman's sack dance during the on-field celebrations. Chargers players weren't happy at all.

But hey, props to Merriman's son, he knows greatness when he sees it. And he's not alone, evidenced by Brady once again leading all NFL players in royalties from sales of items including jerseys.

PFF's biggest Patriots nemesis might surprise you>>>

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Celtics easily on your device.

Tom Brady is taking notes from Raptors' massive championship parade

Tom Brady is taking notes from Raptors' massive championship parade

The Raptors saw an estimated 1.5 million people flood the streets of Toronto on Wednesday for the team's first NBA championship parade.

Tom Brady's reaction? Challenge accepted.

Here's the New England Patriots quarterback's simple yet effective tweet upon seeing the massive turnout in Toronto:

Brady knows a thing or two about highly-attended championship parades: Roughly 1.5 million people came out in Boston just four months ago to watch the Patriots celebrate their sixth Super Bowl title.

That attendance number was a record for the city's many Patriots title parades, but it appears the Raptors matched that Monday.

So, Brady and Co. will just have to win a seventh championship to raise the bar yet again next February.

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Celtics easily on your device.