Bill Belichick via OMF on Ben Watson release: 'Just don't have a roster spot'

Ryan Hannable
October 07, 2019 - 6:37 pm

On Monday afternoon, the Patriots officially released tight end Benjamin Watson.

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The team received a roster exemption for him last week following his four-game suspension concluding, but once he wasn't activated for Sunday's game, the team had until Monday at 4 p.m. to activate him or else he would become a free agent.

Shortly after the move became official, Bill Belichick was asked on Ordway, Merloni & Fauria what went into the decision.

"Just don’t have a roster spot," he said.

Belichick added: “We only have so many roster spots, so if we put somebody on we have to take somebody off. Right now there wasn’t a roster spot.”

A follow-up was asked if Watson looked any different in his return to the team from the summer, and Belichick insisted it was purely about the current roster.

“We didn’t feel like there was somebody we could create a roster spot with," he said. "Everybody came out of the game healthy. We have a decent team, so that is where we’re at.”

The Patriots only have two tight ends on the roster in Matt LaCosse and Ryan Izzo, who have seven catches in the five games.

There is some speculation the release could be because the team will put his just under $2 million in cap savings towards potentially trading for a player as the trade deadline approaches.

Watson, 38, is now a free agent and he reportedly still wants to continue playing.


Related: Patriots release 'projected' injury report ahead of Thursday Night Football