Patriots

Tom Brady, Patriots show Ben Watson love as TE announces retirement

Patriots

We don't know where Tom Brady will play in 2020, but we know he still keeps tabs on his now-former teammates.

Ben Watson announced his retirement Monday on social media, ending any speculation he'd return in 2020 after coming out of a first retirement in 2019 to play for the New England Patriots.

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Thank you.

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The 39-year-old also paid homage to all five teams he played for during his 15-year career, starting with the Patriots, who selected the tight end in the first round (No. 32 overall) of the 2004 NFL Draft.

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#GoPats

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Watson's tribute to the Patriots earned him shout-outs from the team's Instagram account ("Thank you, Ben"), as well as Brady, who dropped three heart emojis in the comment section of Watson's post.

Patriots running back Brandon Bolden, offensive lineman David Andrews and safety Duron Harmon also gave Watson props, with Harmon writing on Watson's retirement Instagram post:

"Appreciate you setting the example on and off the field my brother! Enjoy retirement because you deserve it 💪🏿"

But Brady's Instagram activity is most notable considering the NFL's legal tampering window opened Monday, allowing teams to contact the pending free-agent quarterback.

Brady was on vacation in Costa Rica with his family but has returned stateside ahead of his big decision, per NFL Media's Ian Rapoport.

Brady and Watson share a very tight bond, but the latter didn't contribute much on the field in his final NFL season, with 17 catches for 173 yards and no touchdowns in 10 games played.