The New England Patriots need experience at tight end after Rob Gronkowski's retirement. So, why not bring back an old friend who's worked with Tom Brady before?
Patriots fans will recognize Ben Watson, who spent the first six years of his NFL career in New England from 2004 to 2009. That's obviously a long time ago, and the New Orleans Saints tight end officially announced his retirement last December.
But ESPN's Adam Schefter raised eyebrows Thursday morning by mentioning Watson's name unprompted while discussing the Patriots' options at tight end.
"I won't be surprised if somehow Ben Watson, coming out of retirement, makes his way back to Foxboro," Schefter told WEEI's "Mut & Callahan" in a radio interview. "That won't surprise me down the line."
Schefter's wording suggests if Watson were to return, it wouldn't be until later in the season. And considering he turns 39 in December and just had twins with his wife, he may stay sidelined for good.
But it was Schefter who reported over the weekend that Watson was mulling an NFL return, so the fact that Schefter mentioned the Patriots as a landing spot for the veteran tight end is significant.
Former Saints’ TE Benjamin Watson, who intended to retire after last season, is now considering a return to the NFL, according to sources. Watson is currently focused on welcoming twins next week. But after their arrival, he may be open to coming back to the right situation.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) April 20, 2019
New England's tight end depth chart without Watson includes free-agent signee Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Jacob Hollister and Stephen Anderson. The Patriots reportedly have interest in several tight end prospects in this year's NFL Draft, as well, including Texas A&M's Jace Sternberger and Alabama's Irv Smith Jr.
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