NFL Rumors: Ex-Saints TE Ben Watson Could Return Despite Considering Retirement

Kyle Newport@@KyleNewportFeatured ColumnistApril 20, 2019

NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA - JANUARY 13: Benjamin Watson #82 of the New Orleans Saints stands on the field during the NFC Divisional Playoff against the Philadelphia Eagles at the Mercedes Benz Superdome on January 13, 2019 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)
Sean Gardner/Getty Images

Veteran NFL tight end Benjamin Watson previously made it known that he intended to retire following the 2018 season, but the 38-year-old is reportedly considering returning for a 16th season.

ESPN's Adam Schefter reported Saturday that Watson is open to playing in 2019 "under the right situation." 

Watson told NFL Films in a feature last year that he was ready to walk away from the game.

"It's time. It's time to be done," Watson said at the 8:15 mark. "I'm going to finish strong."

He went into more detail about his decision to retire back in December, via ESPN.com's Mike Triplett:

"I knew coming into this year that it probably would be the last year. And I think our approach was as a family that we were fortunate to come and play for another year, but you kind of know. It's been great to be a part of this team and have this sort of winning at this point of my career. But the injuries add up, the body struggles more and more. And it becomes evident that it's time.

"It's always a very hard thing, but my mentality this year has definitely been to perform to the best of my ability and fight through different things."

Watson spent the first six years of his career with the New England Patriots after being selected 32nd overall by the team in 2004, winning a Super Bowl ring with Tom Brady and Co. as a rookie. He has suited up for four teams in his career, spending four of the last six seasons with the New Orleans Saints.

In 2018, Watson hauled in 35 receptions for 400 yards and two touchdowns. He played a limited role in the Saints' run to the NFC Championship Game, making just one catch for 12 yards during the postseason.

While Watson played in all 16 regular-season games last year, the 6'3", 251-pound tight end has been subjected to plenty of hits through the years, leading to wear and tear on his body. He missed the entire 2016 campaign because of an Achilles injury suffered during the preseason.

Schefter noted Watson ranks 14th among tight ends in NFL history with 530 career receptions. He has piled up 5,885 yards and 44 touchdowns since 2004.

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