Why did Patriots re-sign Ben Watson? Bill Belichick has straightforward reason

Darren Hartwell

Bill Belichick isn't one to divulge strategy.

But in the case of Ben Watson, the New England Patriots head coach was happy to explain the tight end's eventful eight days.

"We had a roster spot," Belichick told reporters Thursday when asked why the Patriots re-signed Watson on Tuesday after releasing him the previous Monday.

Scroll to continue with content
Ad

"We had availability. Jak (fullback Jakob Johnson) went on IR (injured reserve), so we had an opportunity to put (Watson) on the roster that we didn't have the week before."

That bit of roster maneuvering worked out in the Patriots' and Watson's favor. Johnson and tight end Matt LaCosse were healthy at the time of Watson's initial release, but the Patriots had a need for the tight end after both players got hurt last Thursday against the New York Giants.

So, they filled Johnson's vacant roster spot by re-signing Watson on a deal that gives the 38-year-old more guaranteed money and saves the Patriots about $1 million in cap space.

New England also brought in Eric Tomlinson on Tuesday, and Belichick suggested the former New York Jets tight end could be used in a blocking role.

"He's a bigger guy, has blocking ability," Belichick said of Tomlinson. "He's been in the backfield. He's played on the line of scrimmage. We'll see how all of that plays out."

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Celtics easily on your device.

Why did Patriots re-sign Ben Watson? Bill Belichick has straightforward reason originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

What to Read Next