Patriots Officially Sign Tight End Ben Watson, Seven 2019 Draft Picks


The New England Patriots made the Ben Watson reunion official Friday afternoon.

The veteran tight end is rejoining the Patriots after a decade spent in Cleveland, New Orleans and Baltimore, the team announced.

Watson, the 32nd overall pick in the 2004 NFL Draft, played six seasons with the Patriots from 2004 to 2009, catching 167 passes for 2,102 yards and 20 touchdowns. He spent last season with the Saints, tallying 35 receptions for 400 yards and two scores in 16 games.

Watson’s Patriots contract reportedly is a one-year, $3 million deal.

The 38-year-old will help stabilize a Patriots tight end group that has lost Rob Gronkowski (retirement), Dwayne Allen (cut) and Jacob Hollister (traded) this offseason. He joins Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Matt LaCosse, Stephen Anderson, Ryan Izzo and undrafted rookie Andrew Beck on the depth chart.

The Patriots, who began rookie minicamp Friday, also announced the signings of seven of their 10 2019 draft picks: cornerback Joejuan Williams, offensive tackle Yodny Cajuste, guard/center Hjalte Froholdt, quarterback Jarrett Stidham, defensive lineman Byron Cowart, punter Jake Bailey and cornerback Ken Webster.

Only wide receiver N’Keal Harry (first round), defensive end Chase Winovich (third round) and running back Damien Harris (third round) remain unsigned.

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