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.
Watson was on the field for 32 of a possible 67 snaps on offense in Sunday's 23-16 loss to the Chiefs.
Watson caught one of his three targets in the contest for seven yards, while fellow tight end Matt LaCosse (54 snaps) caught two of his four targets for 14 yards. Neither of the two tight ends are high-percentage fantasy plays down the stretch.
Watson logged 47 of a possible 87 snaps on offense in Sunday's 28-22 loss to the Texans.
Watson caught his only target in the game for 23 yards, while fellow tight end Matt LaCosse (53 snaps) hauled in one of his two targets for 24 yards. In the wake of back-to-back low-volume efforts, it'll be hard to trust Watson as a fantasy option when the Patriots take on the Chiefs in Week 14.
Watson was on the field for 49 of a possible 70 snaps on offense in Sunday's 13-9 win over the Cowboys. He did not catch his lone target in the contest.
Meanwhile, fellow tight end Matt LaCosse logged 34 snaps and caught his only target for five yards. Game flow/weather/personnel availability led to Watson doing plenty of blocking Sunday, but there will be weeks going forward in which he makes more of an impact as a pass catcher. Even so, his fantasy upside is modest, given that he's yet to record a TD in five contests to date.
Watson caught three of his four targets for 52 yards in Sunday's 17-10 win over the Eagles.
Per Mike Reiss of ESPN.com, Watson was on the field for 59 of the Patriots' 74 snaps on offense Sunday, while Matt LaCosse, in his return from a knee injury, logged 21 snaps, catching two of his three targets for three yards. As long as he can stay healthy, Watson will continue to serve as the Patriots' top pass-catching tight end, a role that's carried limited fantasy upside thus far, but does at least give the 38-year-old a degree of value in deeper PPR formats.
Watson was on the field for all 67 of the Patriots' snaps on offense in Sunday's 37-20 loss to the Ravens, en route to hauling in four of his five targets for 28 yards.
Once the Patriots return from their Week 10 bye, Watson will continue to profile as the team's top pass-catching tight end, but it's a role that has so far yielded modest production, helpful only in deeper PPR formats.
Watson was on the field for 48 of a possible 69 snaps on offense in Sunday's 27-13 win over the Browns, en route to catching his only target for 26 yards.
Though Watson is the team's top pass-catching option at tight end these days, it's not a role that figures to yield consistent fantasy production in the post-Rob Gronkowski era.
In his season debut, Watson was on the field for 62 of the Patriots' 82 snaps on offense in Monday's 33-0 win over the Jets.
In the process, Watson caught three of his five targets for 18 yards. As the 38-year-old tight end shakes the rust off, he could factor into the team's offense more in the coming weeks, but his volume could be inconsistent, given how the Patriots tend to spread the ball around.
With Ryan Izzo concussed and Matt LaCosse (knee) on track to miss Monday night's game against the Jets, Watson and Eric Tomlinson could head the Patriots' Week 7 tight end corps, Zack Cox of NESN reports.
Neither Watson nor Tomlinson has played a regular-season snap for the Patriots this season, but with Tomlinson more of a blocker, Watson could end up being the team's top pass-catching tight end in Week 7. Even in such a scenario, he'd be a speculative lineup option Monday, but if he shows well, he could re-enter the fantasy equation with the Patriots, who haven't featured tight ends in their passing game very much to date.
The Patriots officially re-signed Watson on Tuesday, Albert Breer of TheMMQB.com reports.
Watson's return was expected due to the sprained MCL sustained by Matt LaCosse last Thursday against the Giants. As such, Watson's first appearance of the season appears imminent after he served a four-game suspension, sat out Week 5 and was off the Patriots roster entirely for Week 6. During LaCosse's absence, Watson will compete for reps with fellow tight ends Ryan Izzo and Eric Tomlinson.
The Patriots are expected to re-sign Watson, Mike Reiss of ESPN.com reports.
The team released Watson this past Monday, on the heels of the tight end having completed a four-game suspension. At the time, roster space issues were cited by coach Bill Belichick as the reason for the move, but with Matt LaCosse (knee) banged up again, Watson is a logical choice for the Patriots to seamlessly add needed depth at a thin position.
Watson won't be placed on the Patriots' 53-man roster by Monday's roster-exemption deadline, making him a free agent, Mike Reiss of ESPN.com reports.
Watson completed his four-game suspension last week but wasn't added to the 53-man roster ahead of Week 5 as the Patriots took advantage of the week-long roster exemption, and it looks like they will allow the exemption to expire rather than putting him on the roster. According to Zack Cox of NESN.com, the decision frees up about $2 million in cap space for New England, which is apparently content with Matt LaCosse and Ryan Izzo serving as its top tight ends. Watson considered retirement this offseason before ultimately signing with the Patriots in May, but he's still interested in continuing his career elsewhere, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network.
Watson (coach's decision) did not travel with the team to Washington and will not play Sunday, Field Yates of ESPN reports.
Watson just completed his four-game suspension to start the season, at which point the Patriots were given a roster exemption of one week to activate him to the 53-man roster. It appears the team will let the exemption run its course, keeping Watson sidelined for another contest. Look for Matt LaCosse and Ryan Izzo to continue manning tight end Sunday.
Watson practiced Thursday, Mike Reiss of ESPN.com reports.
Watson, who is back from a four-game suspension, wasn't at practice Wednesday, but he took the field Thursday, which sets the stage for him to return to action Sunday against Washington. Through the Patriots' first four contests to date, fellow tight ends Matt LaCosse and Ryan Izzo have logged a combined four catches on five targets for 77 yards. Watson does posses a little more pass-catching upside than that duo, but it's unclear what sort of workload he'll be looking at this weekend, in his first game action since January.
Watson has completed his four-game suspension and will be eligible to rejoin the Patriots in Week 5, Nick O'Malley of Masslive.com reports.
Through the Patriots' first four games this season, fellow tight ends Matt LaCosse and Ryan Izzo have recorded a combined four catches on five targets for 77 yards. Watson brings a little more pass-catching upside to the table than that duo, but he's not expected to come close to matching the fantasy production of the retired Rob Gronkowski. It remains to be seen how heavily the Patriots employ the 38-year-old Watson this coming Sunday against Washington, but he's probably worth scooping up, for those in a jam in terms of tight end depth.
Watson (suspension) entered the concussion protocol after Thursday's preseason win over Carolina, Jim McBride of The Boston Globe reports.
Watson didn't technically start Thursday's contest, but he drew both of his targets -- including a 10-yard reception -- while Tom Brady was still in the game. Already suspended for the first four weeks of the regular season, the 38-year-old tight end should have plenty of time to recover from his concussion. The Patriots have a slew of candidates to earn snaps at tight end in September, with Matt LaCosse (ankle) seemingly the best bet to draw targets.