Saints tight end Benjamin Watson is third on the team with 33 catches this year at 38 years old, but after this season the 15-year veteran is ready to call it quits, the team announced on Thursday. Watson has played with the Patriots, Browns, Ravens and is currently in his second stint with the Saints, where he enjoyed the best receiving season of his career.
Watson started his career with New England, and he made a name for himself after chasing down cornerback Champ Bailey the diagonal length of the field and blindsiding him at the 1-yard line after an interception. He's also heavily involved in the NFLPA, serving as an executive committee member.
NFL Films helped Watson announce his retirement with a video.
Watson currently has 528 career receptions, 5,856 yards and 44 touchdowns. After hauling in 74 catches with the Saints in 2015, the Ravens picked him up. Watson tore his Achilles in 2016, but in 2017 he bounced back for 61 catches. Though his production has been limited this year, the Saints have targeted him on key downs, and only Michael Thomas and Alvin Kamara are ahead of him in catches.
Watson is striving for his second career Super Bowl this year after winning Super Bowl 39 with the Patriots in 2005, his second season in the league. A No. 32 overall pick, Watson could end up sitting on Sunday against the Panthers as he prepares for one last playoff run.