Free agent TE Benjamin Watson weighing options, including Chiefs

Report TE Ben Watson intends to come out of retirement visit Patriots

Report TE Ben Watson intends to come out of retirement visit Patriots

However, he recently made a decision to begin making free agent visits with teams for the 2019 season. After agreeing to a one-year deal on Thursday, he should play a part in filling some of the void Gronkowski has left behind.

Watson joined a tight end group that includes free agent signings Austin Seferian-Jenkins and Matt LaCosse along with turning players Ryan Izzo and Stephen Anderson. Anderson and Izzo were with the Patriots last season, but neither appeared in a game, with the former spending almost the entire season on the practice squad and the latter landing on injured reserve before Week 1. Once considered one of the premi;er athletes in the league at his position, Watson clearly has slowed in recent years. It's easy to understand why. In six seasons, he totaled 167 receptions for 2102 yards and 20 touchdowns. Watson had a second stint with the New Orleans Saints in 2018, notched 35 catches, 400 yards and two touchdowns in 16 games.

Risking it with Watson makes more sense than most other free agents on the market at this point in the offseason, as Watson should have some familiarity with New England's offensive system and chemistry with Tom Brady. Expectations for Watson should be tempered, however. But he hasn't had a big role in an offense in a few years.

Following a 2019 NFL Draft that saw the Patriots pass on just about every top prospect tight end, it appears Bill Belichick may have had a backup plan that goes beyond a possible return of Gronkowski mid-season. For Watson it's a return to the team that drafted him 15 years ago.

But that wasn't close to Watson's most famous play in a Patriots uniform.