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Saints sign Ben Watson

Cleveland Browns v St. Louis Rams Getty Images

Free agent tight end Benjamin Watson is heading to New Orleans.

Watson, who was the starting tight end for the Browns last season and caught 49 passes for 501 yards and three touchdowns, has signed with the Saints.

Pairing Watson with Jimmy Graham will give the Saints one of the best 1-2 punches at tight end in the NFL. The 32-year-old Watson isn’t quite the explosive athlete and deep threat in the passing game that Graham is, but Watson is both a good receiver and a good blocker, and the Saints will be able to create a lot of matchup problems in two-tight end formations.

The 2013 season will be Watson’s 10th in the NFL. He spent seven years in New England before spending the last three in Cleveland.

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51 Responses to “Saints sign Ben Watson”
  1. purplegreenandgold says: Mar 18, 2013 2:14 PM

    welcome Ben Watson!

  2. negaduck says: Mar 18, 2013 2:19 PM

    7 in NE + 3 in CLE = this upcoming season is his 10th?

    anyways, this is a good signing.

  3. ravens4lifeudig says: Mar 18, 2013 2:20 PM

    bad Signing he has no hands he drops everything even his SOAP !!! You wont even know he on the roster By mid Oct.

  4. harrisonhits2 says: Mar 18, 2013 2:21 PM

    Good solid player. Will have some great moments and some bad drops to match them.

    Always seemed to make the tough catches for the Pats and drop the easy ones.

  5. hoops737 says: Mar 18, 2013 2:21 PM

    Who Dat! You will see more accurate passes in New Orleans, I guarantee you that

  6. nothinbutathang says: Mar 18, 2013 2:23 PM

    Nice !!! Graham could have a 80-100 catch year

  7. cylondetector says: Mar 18, 2013 2:26 PM

    Actually, Ben watson = Solid receiver and poor blocker.

  8. mattyc says: Mar 18, 2013 2:32 PM

    @ravens4lifeudig

    That is the most ignorant assessment I’ve seen in quite sometime. Watson actually has pretty good hands & for a big guy like him, he does very well adjusting to the ball.

    I really do not ever expect much football knowledge from Rats, so your comment isn’t of surprise!

  9. 49erdynasty says: Mar 18, 2013 2:32 PM

    I was wondering why I hadn’t heard the name Ben Watson in sometime…. then I read he spent the last 3 years in Cleveland.

  10. nakedhookers says: Mar 18, 2013 2:34 PM

    Jimmy Graham plunges down TE rankings

  11. crumpledstiltskin says: Mar 18, 2013 2:35 PM

    Wow. Solid #2.

  12. jagsfanugh says: Mar 18, 2013 2:35 PM

    Sweet, you guys just got fleeced.

  13. swampdawg80 says: Mar 18, 2013 2:35 PM

    I saw him eat up the Cowboys last year. Anybody who does that against the Cowboys is ok with me. Who Dat?!!!

  14. gorilladik81 says: Mar 18, 2013 2:39 PM

    The best 1-2 TE combo is actually Gronk and Hernandez, you idiot.

  15. profootballwalk says: Mar 18, 2013 2:40 PM

    Football Outsiders ranks Watson #40 as a receiving TE last year. How is adding him a big deal? Houston had three TEs ranked higher than that.

  16. SeenThisB4 says: Mar 18, 2013 2:40 PM

    ravens4lifeudig says:
    Mar 18, 2013 2:20 PM
    bad Signing he has no hands he drops everything even his SOAP !!! You wont even know he on the roster By mid Oct.

    _______________________________

    And who was throwing the ball in Cleveland?

  17. triccshot says: Mar 18, 2013 2:41 PM

    Welcom Ben. Good to have you. Now go earn ur paycheck.

  18. kabmaforlife says: Mar 18, 2013 2:42 PM

    That’s what’s up…way to solidify our strength.

    Go Saints

  19. pastabelly says: Mar 18, 2013 2:46 PM

    Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez beg to differ on the best tight end combo in the NFL.

  20. stealthjunk says: Mar 18, 2013 2:49 PM

    Ben Watson, who dat? I haven’t heard his name in years.

  21. Patskrieg dot com says: Mar 18, 2013 2:57 PM

    For Ben’s sake, my sake, the Patriots sake, and the Saints sake I wish Watson just started his career as the Saints #2 TE.

    Genuinely an unimpressive, unreliable tight end who was born to not really stand out, but will probably be a nice compliment to Jimmy Graham. Nice pickup Saints.

  22. boltbacker says: Mar 18, 2013 2:57 PM

    Not better than Gronk and Hernandez, unless you are considering that Gronk is currently hurt.

  23. scrummymustard says: Mar 18, 2013 2:58 PM

    “pastabelly says:
    Mar 18, 2013 2:46 PM
    Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez beg to differ on the best tight end combo in the NFL.”

    Can you clearly not read? He said “one of the best” – not the best. Some people are so sensitive.

  24. jsotis76 says: Mar 18, 2013 3:01 PM

    ravens4lifeudig says:
    Mar 18, 2013 2:20 PM
    bad Signing he has no hands he drops everything even his SOAP !!! You wont even know he on the roster By mid Oct.

    _______________________________

    soap is one of the easiest things to drop. it’s slippery and its shape lacks anything protrusion that could provide a grip. the way you constructed that sentence, you need to replace “soap” with something that isn’t easy to drop or isn’t frequently dropped. just my two cents.

  25. mophunk says: Mar 18, 2013 3:01 PM

    The article says “one of the best 1-2 punches at tight end”, not THE best….idiots. read the damn article before you chime in.

    I like this signing a lot…not a show stopper, but a solid pass catching TE that should be a nice addition to the Saints offence.

    For a team with less than no money 3 weeks ago, I’m really happy with the Saints off season so far!

  26. broadstbully says: Mar 18, 2013 3:01 PM

    gorilladik81,

    He said “one of the best”. He’s not the idiot, here.

  27. pettytom says: Mar 18, 2013 3:04 PM

    Really another TE??? Last time I checked offense wasn’t this teams problem, stopping the other teams offense was the Saints problem. So unless they are expecting him to all of a sudden become a OLB this is a bad signing. Upgrade the D Loomis!!!

  28. ubepunkedagain says: Mar 18, 2013 3:07 PM

    LOL @49erfan Nobody expects a Californian to pay attention outside of their own little self absorbed world they live in.

    49erdynasty says:Mar 18, 2013 2:32 PM

    I was wondering why I hadn’t heard the name Ben Watson in sometime…. then I read he spent the last 3 years in Cleveland.

    Vernon Davis- 41 receptions 548 yards
    Ben Watson- 49 receptions 501 yards

  29. bigzant82 says: Mar 18, 2013 3:10 PM

    good for him if he wanted to be part of something good and new and cleveland he’d stay with the browns and help weeden THE NFL IS ALL BOUT THE MONEY NOBODY WANT TO WIN SUPER BOWLS AND TRY AND REPEAT EG: B-More Ravens smh
    other then that hope my browns go after that kid from notre dame or stanford’s TE

  30. marcinhouston says: Mar 18, 2013 3:11 PM

    To be the best 1/2 TE combination, wouldn’t Gronk and Hernandez have to be active the same game? Maybe they are the best 1/2 combo in week 3 of preseason.

  31. leightonbreard says: Mar 18, 2013 3:16 PM

    THIS IS A GOOD SIGN!
    I had Watson on my fantasy team two years ago and I found he was as solid as one could be for a inferior offensive team!
    #WHODAT

  32. dawglb says: Mar 18, 2013 3:17 PM

    Great guy. Great family. Still has productive years in him. Good signing. I did not want Cleveland to let him go.

  33. whywerule says: Mar 18, 2013 3:17 PM

    Very good veteran player to have around as a complementary TE. Good football player, class act, and certainly one of the brightest players in the NFL. Seriously, he originally went to Duke on a scholastic scholarship, albeit to also play football, before transferring to Georgia Tech. Supposedly posted a 48 on the Wonderlic. His unusual combination of tremendous physical ability and brains did not make him an unstoppable force in the NFL, but he should work well with Graham and Brees.

  34. watchfullhose says: Mar 18, 2013 3:23 PM

    As a Browns fan, I’ll miss Watson – he was a good football player and an even better person.

    I wish him and the Saints well.

  35. rukkus1 says: Mar 18, 2013 3:28 PM

    Look out jimmy graham

  36. brownoholic says: Mar 18, 2013 3:28 PM

    Actually, Ben watson = Solid receiver and poor blocker.
    ——————————————————–

    This.

    Ravenwhatshisface up there is clueless.
    Il
    He’s over the hill but w no STARTING tight end picked up I was all for Cleveland keeping him…

  37. harrisonhits2 says: Mar 18, 2013 3:36 PM

    “gorilladik81 says:
    Mar 18, 2013 2:39 PM
    The best 1-2 TE combo is actually Gronk and Hernandez, you idiot.”

    Its called reading comprehension. You obviously need to work on this as what he actually said was –

    “ONE of the best tight end combos in the league”

    Not THE best.

  38. azarkhan says: Mar 18, 2013 3:56 PM

    I still remember a tremendous effort play he made chasing down Champ Bailey after Bailey intercepted Tom Brady. Caught him at like the 2 yard line. It’s probably on youtube.

  39. mustang69247 says: Mar 18, 2013 4:01 PM

    he will make a great 2nd option next to jimmy graham.

  40. ilovefoolsball says: Mar 18, 2013 4:05 PM

    profootballwalk says:
    Mar 18, 2013 2:40 PM
    Football Outsiders ranks Watson #40 as a receiving TE last year. How is adding him a big deal? Houston had three TEs ranked higher than that.
    _____
    Yeah but you’re forgetting that Houston is a fraud at everything.

  41. sguy2130 says: Mar 18, 2013 4:06 PM

    Watson is a very solid pass catching TE. He won’t be stretching the field by any means but a nice pickup for the Saints. Great locker room & high character veteran.

    The article is wrong though, Watson would at best be an average blocker. My only other critique would be he can’t seem to make guys miss or shed off too many tackles anymore.

    Not sure why my Browns let him go unless they are extremely high on Jordan Cameron.

    Best of Luck to Watson, knew he’d end up somewhere.

  42. harrisbarton says: Mar 18, 2013 4:23 PM

    Vernon Davis- 41 receptions 548 yards
    Ben Watson- 49 receptions 501 yards
    —————————————-
    So should we conclude from this that you’d rather have Watson than Davis?

    Talk about self-absorbed . . . .

  43. johnclaytonsponytail says: Mar 18, 2013 4:29 PM

    Back up TE was a necessity. Solid pick up.

  44. bradyacl says: Mar 18, 2013 4:32 PM

    Dude is a beast.

  45. ubepunkedagain says: Mar 18, 2013 4:40 PM

    harrisbarton says:Mar 18, 2013 4:23 PM

    Vernon Davis- 41 receptions 548 yards
    Ben Watson- 49 receptions 501 yards
    —————————————-
    So should we conclude from this that you’d rather have Watson than Davis?
    —————————————
    You can choose to ignore the rest of the post if you like.

    I’m saying this guy probably thinks Vernon Davis is all world when Ben Watson put up the same numbers. Those that follow football are aware of what others around the league do besides our own teams, just some don’t get excessive hype. I’m sure this guy knows all the players on ESPN suck down and his own team.

  46. philly2boston says: Mar 18, 2013 4:51 PM

    That was a touchback in Denver.

    -non Pats fan

  47. redstar504 says: Mar 18, 2013 7:11 PM

    It’s a good signing and a very smart one strategy wise because I know a lot of Saints fans won’t want to hear it but re-signing Jimmy Graham is going to be a female dog. He is going to command insane $$ and I don’t see where that comes from but then again the Saints always hold on to their true stars and Graham would merit that.

    If they resign him it’s going to take a lot of guys paying back in to get him paid. Getting Watson is a decent “break glass incase” option but he can’t compare to Graham in any way. The guy still had good numbers last season despite having a cracked wrist all year and only started playing football a few years ago so he is still moving up skill wise keeping Jimmy is key but Watson is a decent just incase option.

  48. uptjeff says: Mar 18, 2013 7:16 PM

    Gronk and Hernandez may be the best, but there is no leadership among the two. I’d rather Graham and Watson.

  49. cannonballdookie says: Mar 18, 2013 9:14 PM

    A starting quality backup for a top 3 TE in the NFL, Brees must be very excited, but it’s too bad they can’t do nearly as good of a job at finding defensive talent.

  50. cmc504 says: Mar 19, 2013 10:45 AM

    Welcome Ben…considering we let Thomas go, we could use this. I would’ve liked to see more moves defensively but it is what it is. I hope he fits well here and is able to make an impact. He has A LOT of years on him but that’s not the worst thing in the world…IMO veterans bring a much needed piece to the locker room. We’ll see how this plays out…and as always WHO DAT!!!

  51. mrmafaka says: Mar 19, 2013 7:54 PM

    Hate all you want , but Ben has the dropsies, butter finger Ben was what we called him.

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