Watson has decided to step away from the NFL as a player, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reports. The 39-year-old -- whom the Patriots drafted 32nd overall in the 2004 NFL Draft -- re-joined New England for one final season in 2019, catching 17 passes for 173 yards in 10 games. Watson finishes up his pro playing career with 547 catches for 6,058 yards and 44 TDs over the course of 205 games.
Watson relayed Friday that he suffered a torn Achilles during the 2019 season, Zack Cox of NESN.com reports. The tight end didn't specify when the injury occurred, but it's obviously impressive that he was able to manage his Achilles issue and remain on the field, en route to hauling in 17 of his 24 targets for 173 yards in 10 games. The 39-year-old, who the Patriots drafted in the first round of the 2004 NFL Draft, previously indicated that he's likely to retire once his contract expires in March. If that's the case, he'll wrap up his pro career with 547 catches for 6,058 yards and 44 TDs over the course of 205 contests.
Watson caught three of four targets for 38 yards during Saturday's playoff loss to the Titans, but he indicated after the game he's likely to retire, Zack Cox of NESN.com reports. The yardage was Watson's second-highest total of the season and the first time he eclipsed 20 receiving yards since Week 13 as both offenses had their share of struggles. The 39-year-old considered retirement last offseason but ultimately returned to New England, where he had 17 catches for 173 yards in 10 games. Watson has now completed 16 NFL seasons between stints with the Patriots, Browns, Saints and Ravens.
Watson logged 31 of a possible 73 snaps on offense in Saturday's 24-17 win over the Bills, en route to catching all three of his targets for 15 yards. Fellow tight end Matt LaCosse saw 46 snaps in the contest and turned his only target into an eight-yard TD. Neither player is a high-percentage fantasy option Week 17 or in the looming NFL postseason.
Watson, who was on the field for 34 of a possible 65 snaps on offense in Sunday's 34-13 win over the Bengals, was not targeted in the contest. Meanwhile, Matt LaCosse logged 49 snaps, while catching all three of his targets for 22 yards. At some point, the Patriots could get their tight ends more involved in the passing attack, but that possibility is not something worth rolling the dice on at this stage of the fantasy season.
|* indicates player did not play that week|
|WK||DATE||OPP||OPP RANK||OPP FPTS|
|3||09/27||Las Vegas Raiders||29||8.75|
|4||10/04||@Kansas City Chiefs||21||7.32|
|7||10/25||San Francisco 49ers||6||5.42|
|9||11/10||@New York Jets||4||5.13|
|13||12/06||@Los Angeles Chargers||11||6.25|
|14||12/11||@Los Angeles Rams||20||7.25|
|17||01/03||New York Jets||4||5.13|
|3 Year Avg||50||38||365||2||20||9.61||48|