Tom Brady calls release of Benjamin Watson 'pretty tough'

Ryan Hannable
October 08, 2019 - 12:35 pm

FOXBOROUGH -- On Monday, the Patriots released veteran tight end Benjamin Watson following his roster exemption running out following his four-game suspension to start the season.

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“We only have so many roster spots, so if we put somebody on we have to take somebody off," Bill Belichick said Monday on Ordway, Merloni & Fauria. "Right now there wasn’t a roster spot.”

Speaking Tuesday, Tom Brady seemed down on the move, acknowledging he will miss the 38-year-old, who was returning for his second stint with the team.

“Pretty tough," he said. "A lot of guys I have played with, I have played with a lot of guys over the years and Ben is a great player. He has been a great player for this team, other teams. He has had an incredible career. Hopefully he can keep playing. I know he was looking forward to playing.

"I’ll miss him. He was right next to me. For as great of a player he was, he was 10 times a better person. Just the highest integrity. I can’t say enough good things about Ben and what he’s meant to me and my family, our team. We’re going to miss him.”

As for the tight ends currently on the roster -- Matt LaCosse and Ryan Izzo -- Brady didn't exactly offer a ringing endorsement.

“I am a quarterback, so I don’t make those decisions," he said. "Whoever is out there that is who I have to play with."

Brady added: "Those guys, they're competing hard. I think they're trying. Matt hasn't been out there as much as we all would have wanted -- certainly what he would have wanted. Ryan's done quite a few things for us. We're just trying to get out there and utilize the reps we can in practice, talk about things, communicate through the things that come up in practice so we can execute when we get into the game."

Through five games, the pair has seven total catches, but did pick it up a little in Washington last week finishing with three catches for 61 yards and a touchdown (Izzo).

It is worth pointing out, Belichick seemed to leave the door open for a potential Watson return earlier on Wednesday, but we'll see.

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