According to multiple sources, the New Orleans Saints have agreed to a 1-yr. contract with tight end Benjamin Watson. The 37-yr. old Watson is reunited with the Saints, where he played from 2013-15.
Watson, a 13-yr. veteran, began his career as a 1st round draft choice by the Patriots in 2004 out of Georgia. After six seasons in New England, he joined the Cleveland Browns as a free agent. Watson signed a three year contract to join the Saints in 2013, where he provided solid blocking and leadership, along with a consistent red zone threat. He left New Orleans after the '15 season, signing a free agent deal with the Baltimore Ravens. Watson injured his Achilles in the 2016 preseason, causing him to miss the season. He rebounded last year, finishing with a team leading 61 catches for 522 yards and 4 touchdowns.
The best year of Watson's career was in 2015 with the Saints, after New Orleans' trade of starter Jimmy Graham. His 74 receptions that year were second on the team, for a career high 824 yards and 6 touchdowns. Watson re-joins a Saints team that got little production from the tight end position last year. He will provide quarterback Drew Brees a trusted and productive target, particularly on 3rd downs, as the Saints look to improve their 19th ranking in that area in 2017.
Welcome Home, Mr. Watson!