Bill Belichick Leaves Door Open For Ben Watson’s Patriots Return After Release

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FOXBORO, Mass. — The Patriots made the surprising decision to release Ben Watson on Monday, but perhaps the tight end could be back for a third stint in New England.

Head coach Bill Belichick was asked about Watson’s release Tuesday morning. Belichick left the door ajar for Watson to return.

“Like Ben, just don’t have a roster spot for him right now,” Belichick said. “And so, maybe that will change. But for the moment, that’s where it is.”

Watson was suspended for the first four weeks of the season. The Patriots received a week-long roster exemption for the 38-year-old tight end last Monday but chose to never lift it. Therefore, he was released.

The Patriots now are left with Ryan Izzo and Matt LaCosse in the tight end room.

“They’re both younger players that are developing that we feel have some upside,” Belichick said. “They’ve done a decent job for us and certainly have a ways to go but have had enough production that we want to keep working with them.”

Izzo, LaCosse and fullback Jakob Johnson combined for 60 yards and a touchdown on four receptions Sunday in the Patriots’ win over the Washington Redskins. They also helped open rushing lanes for running back Sony Michel.

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