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Benjamin Watson announces his retirement

After reports that the Patriots are looking for receivers and tight ends in free agency, Mike Florio, Peter King, and Chris Simms explain what that says about their plan for Tom Brady.

One tight end has already gotten rich in free agency, and one is walking away.

Longtime NFL tight end Benjamin Watson announced on social media that he was stepping away from football after 16 seasons.

“My parents tell me that as a young child I would declare that when I grew up I wanted to be ‘a football player and a missionary,’” Watson wrote. “For the past 16 seasons God has granted me the opportunity to do both as I walk beyond the field my sincere hope is that I was a trusted brother and fried to the hundreds of teammates and families I was blessed to share my football life with and that I earned their respect as a player and most importantly, as a man.”

The Patriots’ first-round pick in 2004, Watson finished with the Patriots last year after spending time with the Browns, Ravens, and Saints.

He came out of retirement last year, missed the first four games with a suspension, but returned for one more year. He effectively admitted after the Patriots’ playoff loss to the Titans that he was likely finished.

He was just elected for another term to the NFLPA Executive Committee.