Watson was suspended the first four games of the season after he violated the league's performance-enhancing drug policy, which is why it wasn't until October 7 that he was cut. But with numerous injuries at the receiver position, the Patriots are bringing back a familiar face at tight end to augment the passing game.
Watson isn't a one-for-one swap with Johnson or Develin, but perhaps he will provide the Patriots some relief as they figure out what to do without a fullback in 2019 - if that's the route they stick with.
"Matt hasn't been out there as much as we all would have wanted - certainly what he would have wanted", quarterback Tom Brady said last week. He was outspoken in his disappointment in seeing Watson go last week. "It's tough for a lot of guys, I've played with a lot of guys over the years".
It would be unrealistic to expect Watson to have the explosion or power he once did, but he was still reasonably effective for the Saints a year ago when he had 400 receiving yards and two touchdowns while catching 76 percent of his targets. Ben's a great player. "He's been a great player for this team, for other teams, he's had an incredible career and hopefully he can keep playing".
Watson, 38, signed with the Patriots this past offseason after initially announcing his retirement. New England played the first six games of its schedule with LaCosse and Izzo as the only tight ends on its 53-man roster. LaCosse also left Week 6 action with a knee injury. The 15-year National Football League veteran started the season with the Patriots but was released last week with no stats or appearances. Watson will get a chance to prove his worth.