FOXBORO, Mass. – The New England Patriots cut Ben Watson because they did not have a duty seat for him. Once they brought him back.
This is the clear statement that gave Patriots coach Bill Belichick on Thursday the question of why the team decided to re-sign the veteran's close end.
"We had a roster on site," Belichick said. "We had availability. (Fullback Jakob Johnson) went IR, so we had the opportunity to put (Watson) on the list we did not have the week before. "
Watson has yet to perform in a regular season game for the Patriots since he returned to New England after a decade in Cleveland, Baltimore and New Orleans. The 38-year-old started the season with a four-time PED suspension. After that, the team decided not to activate it and became a free agent.
The Patriots initially chose Matt LaCosse and Ryan Izzo as their only two close goals. After LaCosse and Johnson injured themselves in a victory over the New York Giants last Thursday, they changed course. In addition to the new signing of Watson they have also taken the former New York Jets and Giants under contract, Eric Tomlinson, to strengthen the weakest position group of the team.
At 6-foot-6, 263 pounds, Tomlinson is the largest close-ended on the list of patriots. In 201
"We'll see," said the coach. "We did not have much time with him, but we'll work with him and see what kind of role he can develop for himself, if there is one, we'll see … He's a bigger guy and he can block in the backfield, he plays on the scrimmage line and we'll see how it all turns out. "
The 6-0 Patriots, who have cut Cody Kessler, the third quarterback, to make room for Tomlinson, are preparing to visit the 1-4 jets on Monday night.
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