Patriots

Why did Patriots re-sign Ben Watson? Bill Belichick has straightforward reason

Why did Patriots re-sign Ben Watson? Bill Belichick has straightforward reason

Bill Belichick isn't one to divulge strategy.

But in the case of Ben Watson, the New England Patriots head coach was happy to explain the tight end's eventful eight days.

"We had a roster spot,” Belichick told reporters Thursday when asked why the Patriots re-signed Watson on Tuesday after releasing him the previous Monday.

“We had availability. Jak (fullback Jakob Johnson) went on IR (injured reserve), so we had an opportunity to put (Watson) on the roster that we didn’t have the week before."

That bit of roster maneuvering worked out in the Patriots' and Watson's favor. Johnson and tight end Matt LaCosse were healthy at the time of Watson's initial release, but the Patriots had a need for the tight end after both players got hurt last Thursday against the New York Giants.

So, they filled Johnson's vacant roster spot by re-signing Watson on a deal that gives the 38-year-old more guaranteed money and saves the Patriots about $1 million in cap space.

New England also brought in Eric Tomlinson on Tuesday, and Belichick suggested the former New York Jets tight end could be used in a blocking role.

"He’s a bigger guy, has blocking ability," Belichick said of Tomlinson. "He's been in the backfield. He’s played on the line of scrimmage. We’ll see how all of that plays out."

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Report: Pats' punishments for videotaping could include fines, draft picks

Report: Pats' punishments for videotaping could include fines, draft picks

While the investigation into the New England Patriots' illicit videotaping of the Cincinnati Bengals' sideline last weekend is ongoing, The Washington Post's Mark Maske is reporting that the punishment could be aligned in severity with similiar game-day violations committed by other NFL teams in recent years.

That means fines in the range of six figures and/or a reduced round value on a draft pick — or worse still, the loss of one altogether:

"The NFL is likely to penalize the New England Patriots for their admitted violation of league video policy last weekend and is contemplating disciplinary measures in line with those imposed on teams in recent seasons for infractions of game-day rules, according to people familiar with the deliberations.

That could mean a fine in the hundreds of thousands of dollars and potentially the loss or reduction in value of a draft choice, typically a lower-level pick."

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Looking for something similar to what the Patriots were levied for Spygate? Maske points out that punishment was clearly an exception, not a guardrail:

The Patriots have admitted wrongdoing in last Sunday's incident in Cleveland, in which a credentialed Patriots video crew member was caught filming the Bengals' sideline during their game against the Browns. New England has said the camera crew was there to feature a scout as part of their "Do Your Job" video series.

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Report: Julian Edelman, Ted Karras make trip with Patriots, Cowart out for Bengals game

Report: Julian Edelman, Ted Karras make trip with Patriots, Cowart out for Bengals game

Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman and center Ted Karras, who were each listed as questionable with injuries, made the trip to Cincinnati with the team Saturday but backup defensive tackle Byron Cowart was downgraded to out with a concussion, according to ESPN's Mike Reiss.

Edelman, the team's leading receiver, has been battling shoulder and ankle injuries. Karras, the starting center, missed the loss to the Kansas City Chiefs last Sunday with a knee injury. Both were limited in practice this week. 

The Patriots (10-3), coming off back-to-back losses to the Houston Texans and Chiefs, play the Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium on Sunday at 1 p.m.