Throughout the offseason, training camp and the preseason, it was never clear whether veteran offensive lineman Brian Waters, who is under contract to the Patriots, would play this season. But now it’s clear: He won’t.
Adam Schefter of ESPN reports that the Patriots and Waters had discussed a potential deal throughout the season, but it’s a moot point now because Friday was the deadline for teams to take players off the reserve/did not report list. The Patriots didn’t take Waters off the list, so Waters won’t play.
For unsigned players, such as players given the franchise tag, the deadline to report to the team is the Tuesday after Week 10. But for players under contract who simply don’t report, the deadline is later in the season. So Waters still could have played for the Patriots this season if he had reported by last week.
Now the 35-year-old Waters, who started all 19 games up to and including the Super Bowl for the Patriots last season, is apparently content to retire. The Patriots were reportedly offering Waters a raise to get him to come back, but now they’ll go with the line they have.