New England Patriots: Benjamin Watson faces 4-game suspension

New England Patriots, NFL News

There’s news out of Foxborough as New England Patriots tight end Benjamin Watson is facing a four-game suspension to start the season.

On the verge of retirement after 14 seasons on the field with the New England Patriots, Cleveland Browns, New Orleans Saints (twice) and Baltimore Ravens, veteran tight end Benjamin Watson opted to run a reverse and wound up signing a one-year contract with the team that made him the final pick in the first round of the 2004 NFL Draft.

The former University of Georgia standout was a rookie on the Pats’ team that captured Super Bowl XXXIX. He would spend the first six years of his NFL career in Foxborough and would now be rejoining the franchise looking for some help at his position.

But on Sunday evening, the talented pro had something pertinent to say via his Facebook account (full text here). Here is part of that post.

On March 29, nine days after I started therapy, I was randomly tested under our substance policies. I complied out of habit, never thinking in that moment I’d want to come back. In late April, some clubs expressed interest in me playing and after much deliberation and prayer, I decided I wanted to return. Considering myself previously retired, I had forgotten all about my test in March until I got a letter on May 3rd saying my results were positive. I was devastated and for obvious reasons did not want to proceed. At that point I knew that my decision to return to play would include a four game suspension and I immediately discussed this new development with the clubs.

With Watson out of the first four games of 2019, the workload figures to be a little heavier early on for free-agent additions Austin Seferian-Jenkins and Matt LaCosse, as well as 2018 seventh-round draft choice Ryan Izzo – among others. And this was a team that already had some big shoes to fill at tight end to begin with. Stay tuned.

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