FILE PHOTO: Oct 21, 2018; Baltimore, MD, USA; New Orleans Saints tight end Benjamin Watson (82) reacts after catching Saints quarterback Drew Brees (not pictured) 500th career touchdown pass during the second quarter against the Baltimore Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports
December 27, 2018
New Orleans Saints tight end Benjamin Watson said Thursday he will retire at the conclusion of his 15th season in the NFL.
Watson, who turned 38 on Dec. 18, has played in 194 regular-season games and 11 playoff games since New England drafted him in the first round in 2004.
He capped his rookie season with the Patriots with a Super Bowl championship and is in a position to go out the same way with the Saints (13-2), who have clinched the No. 1 playoff seed in the NFC.
Watson announced his decision in an NFL Films video featuring his wife, Kirsten, and five children. He announced earlier this season that they are expecting twins.
“It’s time. It’s time to be done. I’m going to finish strong,” Watson said.
Watson has 33 catches for 371 yards and two touchdowns this season, bringing his 15-year totals to 528 receptions for 5,856 yards and 44 scores.
After six seasons in New England (2004-09), Watson played for Cleveland (2010-12), New Orleans (2013-15) and Baltimore (2017) before returning to the Saints.