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Ben Watson is Talking About Unretiring to Play for the Patriots. Yes, Please.

2015 Walter Payton NFL Man Of The Year Finalist Press Conference

Well this was welcome news to wake up to. Especially after going to bed with the bitter ass-taste of watching a supremely talented team collection of individuals underachieve in a do-or-die game without even pretending to put up a fight. I can’t think of a better time to bring back one of the most respected players in the NFL to the team that drafted him. And at a definite position of need. Get Ben Watson signed today and it’ll help rinse the taste of the Celtics out of a region’s mouth, just a little.

I’m not about to overstate the case on how good Watson is at 38. But he not at all bad. He played well enough to convince anyone – most importantly, himself – that he’s still got football in him.

Watson was Pro Football Reference’s 14h best receiving tight end and their 17th best overall in his somewhat limited role in New Orleans.  He had 35 catches with 400 yards and 2 touchdowns as Drew Brees’ second tight end option. He was essentially a role player, with just about half the targets, receptions and yards as Jared Cook. And his total snaps were around half of what guys like Travis Kelce and Zach Ertz had. He’s not the YAC guy he once was, as his 2.4 YAC per reception was second lowest in the league. But he still managed a respectable 11.4 YPR.

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In a somewhat limited role as, traditional, blocking/receiving, in-line Y-receiver tight end in a system he’s played before, he’s a perfect option. For a team that’s depleted at the position. (At least until Gronk unretires too.) And he’ll also be a perfect fit as a locker room presence on a team with a lot of young guys, a new rookie class joining what is essentially an entire 2018 draft class of redshirted freshmen.

And it doesn’t hurt Watson’s stock at all that he’s just a few months removed from blasting Ginger Satan in the most Ben Watson way imaginable:

Here’s what I wrote then:

Goddammit, do I respect Ben Watson. A veteran of 15 years in the league. A Walter Payton finalist. A long-time NFLPA union rep for four different franchises. The owner of a score of a 48-out-of-50 on the Wonderlic. If he’d only been blessed with the hands to match his intelligence, character and determination, he would’ve doubled all of Tony Gonzalez’s records. Remember when he signed with Baltimore and blew the whistle on John Harbaugh running padded practices for rookies who were too insecure in their job prospects to say anything? That’s the kind of integrity the NFL needs. And Watson is 100 percent correct in saying they’re not getting it in return for the $44 million bucks a year they’re paying that feckless meat puppet who’s supposed to be in charge.

Yeah, I want this guy back and I want it five minutes ago. He might not have the wheels he once had, but I have no doubt he’s still got the same hustle:

That was a fumble at the 1, no question. But that’s a discussion for another time. Sign this man.