The Patriots had to choose between Vince Wilfork and Benjamin Watson for their franchise tag, and they ultimately chose the nose tackle, allowing their tight end to test the market. Watson’s first visit will be with the Seahawks on Monday, ProFootballTalk.com reports.
Watson, 29, caught just 29 passes for the Patriots last season, although he averaged 13.9 yards per catch and scored five touchdowns. At 6-foot-3, 255 pounds, Watson has the size and athleticism to be a vertical threat — a quality new head coach Pete Carroll covets in his tight ends, according to ProFootballTalk.com.
The Seahawks already have an excellent tight end on their roster in third-year man John Carlson, a second-round pick in 2008. Carlson caught 51 passes last season and 55 during his rookie year, even though Seattle endured a carousel at the quarterback position due to injuries. Carlson also found pay dirt seven times last season, good for fifth among NFC tight ends.
The Patriots released veteran tight end Chris Baker on Thursday, leaving them without a tight end on their active roster.