Browns sign Benjamin Watson

Benjamin Watson is a Cleveland Brown.

Watson, a free agent tight end who played his entire six-year career with the New England Patriots, has signed a three-year deal with the Browns. As first reported by ESPN’s Adam Schefter, it’s a $12 million contract with $6.35 million guaranteed.

A league source who confirmed the deal to PFT says the $6.35 million guaranteed will be paid out completely in the first year of the deal.

Browns coach Eric Mangini was an assistant coach in New England during Watson’s first two seasons with the Patriots.

The 29-year-old Watson was generally regarded as the best tight end available in free agency. He played in all 16 games for the Patriots last season, starting seven and catching 29 passes for 404 yards and five touchdowns.

46 responses to “Browns sign Benjamin Watson

  1. Good signing for the Browns.
    (Meanwhile, the Bills signed Joe Klopen-whatever for the eighth time in the last six months.)

  2. Browns are a better fit than Pats for a fast, strong, athletic TE like Watson. Pats offense doesn’t utilize TE much. They feature Wes Welker from the slot and Randy Moss to stretch the field. As Holmgren gets his QB situation figured out and installs a good West Coast offensive scheme, Watson will do just fine there.

  3. Holmgren is doing stuff, at least. Shore up the defense through the draft; Browns=championship.

  4. Wow! Someone to compete with Robert ‘no hands’ Royal!
    Although Watson is only average this is a BIG upgrade for the Browns.
    The way I see it, Watson catches better with his right hand than Braylon Edwards does with both; and with his left hand he catches better than Royal does with both. This is like upgrading two positions for the price of one.
    Long live the CZAR!

  5. Watson is good. He made Brady look good. This guy was jumping turning in mid air and catching balls. Get it in his radar and he’ll catch it. Nice sign, thanks for taking Watson out of the AFC East!

  6. Benjamin Watson ……. *yawn* …… they’re not getting much. Browns overpaid for an underacheiver.

  7. Watch him drop passes left and right from a QB, not even close to accurate like Brady……Good luck Seneca Wallace, having old reliable helping you out!

  8. Good luck Ben Watson. I am surprised he signed for about 4 million a year.
    Obviously for whatever reason the Pats didn’t feel he was worth it.
    Are we going to have TE’s this season?

  9. Not a bad pick up at all. Hopefully we can figure out the QB situation so someone can actually throw him the ball.

  10. The 29-year-old Watson was generally regarded as the best tight end available in free agency. He played in all 16 games for the Patriots last season, starting seven and catching 29 passes for 404 yards and five touchdowns [b]and no wheelies[/b].

  11. Cool. Not a huge splash, but he’s an upgrade over Royal. He and Evan Moore give us two decent receiving TE’s.

  12. Hello, Greg Olsen…we’d like to give you a tour of Gillette Stadium and the fabulous cultural mecca that is US Route 1.

  13. Dont expect too much Browns4Life. Watson is a solid player, a fantastic athlete (remember him catching Champ Bailey from the other side of the field, on a 100 yard INT return). But he is always going to leave you thinking that he is just one play away from a break out career…. Like I said, he is solid, but he is far from a Pro Bowler, and if you expect him to be that (not saying you do) you will be disappointed

  14. So now New England doesn’t have any tight ends on the roster. Looks like they’re going to use the Run and Shoot Offense next year.
    Maybe Belichick will bring in Jerry Glanville to be the Offensive Coordinator.

  15. 3 years, $12 million for Ben Watson? at least they’re spending money I guess. But really, $12 million?

  16. Oh, so you mean Eric Mangini ISN’T keeping away all the free agents, like all the A-hole fans and media said he would?
    Ok, just checking.

  17. He is a better receiving TE than and of the TE’s the Browns have on roster and is a VERY good blocking TE. Good signing for Cleveland…

  18. A trade for Bears TE Greg Olsen would seem to make sense, the Bears absent a first round pick for the second year in a row would love to acquire one and since Martz doesn’t utilize TE’s except as blockers i’m sure he could pried away. Olsen is much better than anyone the Patriots could draft and would flourish in New England

  19. I like the move, but we need help in some other areas besides TE… would be nice if the front office would address other needs first

  20. The interesting question is, why do Belicheck and the Patriots draft both Daniel Graham and Ben Watson at the tight end position in the first round but not try to keep them for the prime three years after free agency? If tight end warrants a first round pick, and it seems the Pats have a hard time finding tight ends to their liking, why give them up?

  21. Florio and other Mangini-haters,
    How can this be. The Brown’s sign the highest ranked free agent TE?
    I thought Florio talked to several agents that wouldn’t even return the Brown’s calls.
    How can it be.

  22. I may be one of the minority that likes Watson (and the majority that angst over his inconsistency) but the fact that McDaniels and Pioli/Patriots West didn’t snap him up, says something to me.
    It was a good deal for Watson, best of luck to him

  23. Good call, Browns.
    Jettison Braylon Edwards because he can’t catch easy passes, and then sign the Tight End version of him.

  24. As a Browns fan, I’d be much more excited about this acquisition- if the team didn’t already have a TE who’s better than Watson… named Evan Moore.
    Evan Moore makes impossible catches, can block, and breaks tackles like a freight train- but now that the new regime is in town, they would rather sign (and most likely start) someone with a marquee name (arguably) than someone who is just damn good.

  25. So many little asshole trolls commenting on these Browns stories. They’re like flies.
    Admit it, guys- if the Browns signed Drew Brees, Darelle Revis, and Chris Johnson in the same season, you douchebags would be calling the moves stupid, the players worthless, and the Browns destined to stay in the basement with signings like those. It doesn’t matter *what* the Browns do, it’ll always be the wrong thing.
    They could win the Super Bowl for the next 5 years in a row and you cockgobblers would be bitching like little girls about how they suck.

  26. “tigerlilac says:
    March 12, 2010 9:19 AM
    The interesting question is, why do Belicheck and the Patriots draft both Daniel Graham and Ben Watson at the tight end position in the first round but not try to keep them for the prime three years after free agency? If tight end warrants a first round pick, and it seems the Pats have a hard time finding tight ends to their liking, why give them up?”
    Because neither one, in hindsight, was worthy of being a first round pick, let alone spending big free agent dollars on?
    Why throw bad money after good?

  27. trickbunny- you will still see a lot of Moore. Teams don;t just carry 2-3 receivers or backs for a reason- plays that cater to strengths.
    The Browns use two tight ends about 25% of the time and I’m sure on pure passing situations Evan Moore will be the guy on the field.
    Plus maybe Watson helps Moore become a better blocker, and frees him up for passes more as a receiver in the two tight end sets, like Heiden did for Winslow.

  28. TFBuckFutter says:
    March 12, 2010 11:08 AM
    Because neither one, in hindsight, was worthy of being a first round pick, let alone spending big free agent dollars on?
    Why throw bad money after good?
    xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
    Exactly.
    It was a rhetorical question and you draw the only logical answer from the Patriots’ perspective.
    But, the Browns signed him to that new contract knowing the Patriots would not come close to matching their offer.
    Which team made the right decision (or did they both make the right one for their respective team)?
    Graham has played well for Denver but has he played up to his free agent contract?
    The Patriots may have made the right decision in regards to both Graham and Watson but they clearly have not done a very good job of picking tight ends outside of the first round.

  29. Clearly, nobody here has ever watched a Patriots game. Let me fill you in on Ben Watson as a Patriots fan – Bill Belichick cannot draft tight ends… if he does it again in the first round, I will turn off the draft.

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