New England Patriots tight end Benjamin Watson hasn't officially announced his retirement, but he hinted that it's a possibility after the defending Super Bowl champs suffered a season-ending loss to the Tennessee Titans on Saturday night.

Watson posted an emotional Instagram on Monday that touched on quite a few subjects. In a lengthy caption, the 38-year-old veteran expressed his disappointment in how the season ended, wished the remaining playoff teams good luck, and noted how thankful he was for the opportunity, among other things.

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Saturday’s game was tough for a number of reasons. This season, this calendar year, had many expected and unexpected challenges professionally and personally. The emotional investment rivals the physical in this sport, and after months of competition, adversity, and perseverance the bonds between brothers run deep and expectations remain high as we pursued the coveted return. Through it all I’m thankful for another season to play this great game. It has been a joy to share the locker room with these men and truly special to reunite with so many familiar faces. I wish it would have ended in Miami. There’s nothing I wanted more for my family and myself especially at this point in my career. Life is about perspective and disappointment has a special way of challenging that conviction. Thank you for supporting my family and this team this year. We could feel the love. We are truly blessed. Best of luck to Tennessee and the other teams still in the race. #Sweet16

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Patriots quarterback Tom Brady liked the post, and he also replied with a heartfelt message for Watson.

There's a great amount of mutual respect between Brady and Watson, who have spent a total of seven seasons as teammates.

When the veteran tight end was released by the Patriots in October, Brady said it was "tough" hearing that news and called Watson a "great player" and a man of the "highest integrity." Watson was very appreciative of the remarks and told WEEI at the time, "I love that guy," in reference to Brady.

 

The Patriots brought Watson back a few weeks later, and it's unclear if Saturday's game will end up being the final one of his 15-year career. He is among several Patriots players who will hit the free agent market this offseason.

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