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SmashMouth 03-18-2013 07:31 PM

Newly signed TE Benjamin Watson is honored to be a New Orleans Saint
 
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During his first six seasons in the NFL, Benjamin Watson was a regular in the post-season while playing for the New England Patriots. But after spending the past three years playing for the beleaguered Cleveland Browns, Watson longed for the day when he could suit up for a playoff contender again.


Tight end Benjamin Watson played for the Cleveland Browns last season.

http://media.nola.com/saints_impact/...469-large.jpeg

That day came on Monday when Watson, an unrestricted free agent tight end, signed a three-year contract to join the New Orleans Saints as the primary backup to star tight end Jimmy Graham.

"It's definitely an honor to play for an organization like the Saints," Watson said. "It's obviously an organization I have admired from afar. It's a great opportunity for me. I always wanted to be a part of a team like the Saints that's in the hunt and continues to be in the hunt. So I'm happy that they reached out to me and expressed to me that they wanted me to come."

The 32-year-old Watson, who was ranked as the ninth-best free agent tight end (three spots ahead of David Thomas, who was released by the Saints earlier this offseason) by NFL.com, said he received other interest in free agency but ultimately chose the Saints because of the attention the organization showed him in free agency and the potency of the offense.

"There were a couple of other teams (interested in signing Watson), but the Saints are really the team that came at me the most," Watson said. "They really wanted me to be a part of the organization. When a team wants you to be a part of the organization and the head coach calls you personally and tells you he wants you to be a part of the organization it means a lot.

"And the city of New Orleans is definitely a city that I look forward to being a part of. The people from New Orleans are some of the most gracious and passionate people that I know. The fan base here is second to none. It's really an exciting time for me and my family."

But that's not the only reason Watson, whose wife Kirsten is a Baton Rouge native, signed with the Saints.

It didn't hurt that New Orleans is home to some famous restaurants and world-class cuisine.

"The food here is the best," he said.

Watson, 6 feet 3 and 255 pounds, is a former first-round draft choice of the Patriots in 2004. He has 321 receptions for 3,776 yards and 28 touchdowns in his nine seasons.

Playing for the Browns from 2010-12, Watson appeared in 45 games with 41 starts. Last season, he appeared in all 16 games for the Browns with 14 starts and recorded 49 receptions for 501 yards and three touchdowns.

Although he has been a starter for much of the past eight seasons, Watson said he is OK serving as the second tight end behind Graham in New Orleans.

He said he clearly understands his role with the Saints, but he also knows he will have more than enough opportunities to catch the ball in the Saints' pass-happy offense. "Any and every player wants to play and wants to be a starter," Watson said. "That's why you play in this league. Fortunately for me I've had a chance to be a starting tight end. Obviously, coming here they have a great tight end in Jimmy Graham and I'm not here to take anything away from him. We complement each other in a lot of ways. I'm excited to play with him because he is such a good talent. With that being said, I am going to compete just like he is and everybody else is to make the team better."

In Watson the Saints are getting a player who is reaching the twilight of his career, but one who has proven capable of serving as a receiver and blocker.

"I always tried as a tight end to be really balanced," Watson said. "Some guys are really great at one thing. Some guys are really great at others. I'm kinda middle of the road. I can do a lot of different things. I'm pretty versatile and complete as a tight end. That's something I really tried to work on to be a good blocker as well as a pass catcher."

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WhoDat!656 03-18-2013 07:37 PM

Re: Newly signed TE Benjamin Watson is honored to be a New Orleans Saint
 
Great attitude!

Although having played in Cleveland, it is understandable why he would want to play for the Saints!

saintsfan1976 03-18-2013 07:40 PM

Re: Newly signed TE Benjamin Watson is honored to be a New Orleans Saint
 
And we can see why Payton brought you in.

Charles Brown should chip in on your signing bonus.

Rugby Saint II 03-18-2013 07:48 PM

Re: Newly signed TE Benjamin Watson is honored to be a New Orleans Saint
 
This is another great FO move.............

hagan714 03-18-2013 08:02 PM

Re: Newly signed TE Benjamin Watson is honored to be a New Orleans Saint
 
Watson longed for the day when he could suit up for a playoff contender again.

thats the key.

FinSaint 03-18-2013 10:48 PM

Re: Newly signed TE Benjamin Watson is honored to be a New Orleans Saint
 
I do like his answers, although some were of the generic variety you always see in articles like this.

Hopefully he'll be a better longterm fit than Graham (Daniel) was last season!

SloMotion 03-19-2013 03:50 AM

Re: Newly signed TE Benjamin Watson is honored to be a New Orleans Saint
 
His wife is a local as well ... happy wife = happy life.

Danno 03-19-2013 08:16 AM

Re: Newly signed TE Benjamin Watson is honored to be a New Orleans Saint
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by FinSaint (Post 487898)
Hopefully he'll be a better longterm fit than Graham (Daniel) was last season!

It always comes down to the gas tank with these types of vets.

Is there enough gas left to get high caliber play out of them? Sharper is the perfect example. He had 1 great year left in the tank, and we timed it perfectly.

Daniel Graham, not such great timing.

I suspect Nnamdi is in that same category. Does he still have the talent he did 3 years ago? Or did he just get old real fast?

QBREES9 03-19-2013 02:53 PM

Re: Newly signed TE Benjamin Watson is honored to be a New Orleans Saint
 
Welcome aboard !


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