Patriots Sign Veteran Linebacker Dekoda Watson, Filling 90-Man Roster

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The New England Patriots filled their 90-man roster Tuesday by adding a veteran linebacker.

The Patriots signed sixth-year pro Dekoda Watson, the team announced. Watson originally was selected by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the seventh round of the 2010 NFL Draft out of Florida State.

Watson played four seasons for the Bucs before signing with the Jacksonville Jaguars prior to the 2014 season. He was waived Nov. 11 and signed by the Dallas Cowboys on Nov. 13.

Watson played strong-side linebacker for the Jaguars, starting one game. He started six games in his four years in Tampa Bay. He has 120 tackles, three sacks, one interception, four passes defensed, two forced fumbles and four fumble recoveries in his career.

The 6-foot-2, 240-pound linebacker proved to be a tremendous athlete during the pre-draft process in 2010. He ran a 4.40-second 40-yard dash at his pro day and had a 6.82-second three-cone drill. He benched 24 reps of 225 pounds and recorded a 40-inch vertical leap and an 11-foot, 2-inch broad jump at the NFL Scouting Combine.

Watson adds a much-needed veteran presence at linebacker, where the Patriots had shallow depth behind starters Dont’a Hightower (who’s recovering from shoulder surgery), Jerod Mayo and Jamie Collins.

Thumbnail photo via Phil Sears/USA TODAY Sports Images

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