Ben Watson suspended four games

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Patriots tight end Ben Watson will serve a four-game suspension to start the season.

Watson himself made the announcement on Facebook, saying that he began using testosterone this offseason at a doctor’s suggestion. Testosterone is a legal prescription medication but is also a banned substance under the NFL’s PED policy, and Watson says he is suspended for using it briefly after he retired from the Saints and before he came out of retirement with the Patriots.

“After my contract expired last March I told my doctors I was finished playing, went through a series of medical tests and was prescribed Bio Identical Testosterone Cypionate to assist in healing my body and mind,” Watson wrote. “On March 29, nine days after I started therapy, I was randomly tested under our substance policies. I complied out of habit, never thinking in that moment I’d want to come back. In late April, some clubs expressed interest in me playing and after much deliberation and prayer, I decided I wanted to return. Considering myself previously retired, I had forgotten all about my test in March until I got a letter on May 3rd saying my results were positive. I was devastated and for obvious reasons did not want to proceed. At that point I knew that my decision to return to play would include a four game suspension and I immediately discussed this new development with the clubs. Ultimately I decided to pursue another year and on May 9 the Patriots offered me a contract in spite of these circumstances.”

Watson says he realizes the rules are what they are and accepts the suspension.

“I respect the regulations that have been collectively bargained to promote fairness on the field of play and accept the discipline associated with my infraction,” Watson said.

The 38-year-old Watson can still participate in all offseason work but will have to be away from the team for the first four weeks of the regular season. His first game back on the field will be October 6 at Washington.

109 responses to “Ben Watson suspended four games

  1. THAT is how you deal with this. No blaming anybody, no victimhood, none of the typical BS that most of the other players try to do. Just laid out the facts and accepted the consequences.

  2. Good grief, the guy didn’t even plan that he was going to play again when he accepted the prescription. Some of you idiots should think about going through all his body has as a 38 year old NFL player, but obviously you’re trolls who just care about hating on an organization you’re jealous of.

  3. What a crock. Why submit to the testing if you decided you were done playing? Period. His story doesn’t add up.

    On a related note, why is testosterone banned? Does it make you run faster or jump higher? Or just heal faster and perform better in the bedroom? And isn’t it something we naturally have which just declines as you age? So supplementing would be like taking vitamin D when you don’t get enough sun. Should penicillin be banned for helping you fight off bacterial infection faster than you would otherwise? I like the idea of players healing faster using a natural substance our body naturally produces. How can that be bad? TELL ME ROGER, HOW CAN THAT BE BAD???

  4. He’ll get plenty of sympathy as it was known he’d officially retired – and he was prescribed it. But I get that you can’t make exceptions because lots of older FAs would use it as an excuse.

  5. When he said new England hasn’t changed, he wasn’t lying. And to the comments about trolls? Check out the comment sections on other teams articles and you’ll find they’re loaded with comments from patriot trolls. Quit crying. They’re just jokes.

  6. The dude deserves respect for his actions. It also brings up a possibly very grey area on testing a retired player. If it were brought to trial and he was tested while Officially retired….hmmm
    BUT this dude just gained a lot of respect from me by MANNING up!

  7. But…Watson is such a “great” guy…
    What does De Smith say about this? I dare someone in the MEDIA to ask him and/or his NFLPA cronies.
    I hope the Patriots are refunded 4 game checks from his contract and get part of his bonus back.

  8. Some of you people have the reading comprehension of a gnat.

    It was proscribed by a doctor after he left the Saints when he didn’t think he’d be playing again and didn’t care squat about the NFL policies. Had nothing to do with the Pats.

  9. FinFan68 says:
    May 26, 2019 at 6:01 pm
    THAT is how you deal with this. No blaming anybody, no victimhood, none of the typical BS that most of the other players try to do. Just laid out the facts and accepted the consequences.

    As a Patriots fan, thank you for not bashing him for being a divisional rival and seeing it as it is. Always a good match up with your Fins(as seen this past season)

  10. Respect the way he’s handling this. No vague “I made a mistake” statement or acting like he has no idea what happened. Just a simple here’s what I did, I accept the consequences. Wish more guys would be honest like that.

  11. Diehard82 says:
    May 26, 2019 at 6:12 pm

    What a crock. Why submit to the testing if you decided you were done playing? Period. His story doesn’t add up.
    ==========================================
    Exactly! He had no desire to play anymore, but the NFL says “pee into a cup for us” and you just do it? No. He knew he wanted to play some more but just misjudged the timing of the test or he thought that because he had a prescription it would be OK.

  12. You guys and your jealousy are pathetic. There’s not ONE team that doesn’t have a player that’s been suspended. Those who live in glass houses…….
    Get a life guys.

  13. I don’t know NFL policy as to how they judge PED’s. I’m not sticking up for this guy or anyone else, but maybe they could find a testosterone level or pattern instead of a blanket policy that all NFL players are supposed to know the chemical background of every enhancement product on the market and sold in retail stores. That doesn’t apply here, but clearly, a medical doctor ran tests on Watson and did what he thought was best to a patient instead of an active NFL player. Yeah, that would cause a slippery slope though with scrupulous doctors. At least Watson was honest.

  14. Relax. The Pats knew about this in advance of signing him.
    If that turns out to be untrue, someone will say so.

    Give the guy some slack, doesn’t sound like he was dishonest about it.

  15. Diehard82 says:
    May 26, 2019 at 6:12 pm
    What a crock. Why submit to the testing if you decided you were done playing? Period. His story doesn’t add up.

    On a related note, why is testosterone banned?

    ===
    You seriously do not know?

  16. harrisonhits2 says:
    May 26, 2019 at 6:20 pm
    Some of you people have the reading comprehension of a gnat.

    It was proscribed by a doctor after he left the Saints when he didn’t think he’d be playing again and didn’t care squat about the NFL policies. Had nothing to do with the Pats.

    12 5 Rate This

    ———————

    Goodell.

    All the more reason to not it be an offense.

    It is just unreal to see Goodell try so hard. He has suspended Pats players every year now for years and it has backfired. His cheating is almost like a bad omen for the haters.

    Sad but comical.

    Ever notice how none of the other leagues see this from the commissioner?

  17. patswinyoucry says:
    May 26, 2019 at 6:10 pm
    Didn’t take the trolls long.
    ——————–
    You know, you’re right. As often as this type of stuff happens from the Patriots you would think fans would just consider this common practice from them and just accept it for what it is, The Patriot Way.

  18. “On a related note, why is testosterone banned?”

    Because it’s an anabolic steroid that helps improve athletic performance?

  19. harrisonhits2 says:
    May 26, 2019 at 6:20 pm
    Some of you people have the reading comprehension of a gnat.

    It was proscribed by a doctor after he left the Saints when he didn’t think he’d be playing again and didn’t care squat about the NFL policies. Had nothing to do with the Pats.

    Proscribed>reading comprehension, votes this Gnat.
    That UGA edumuhcation sure did pay off for big Ben. That’s one helluva letter to the media. GO, you SILVER BRITCHES….

  20. Clowns gonna clown. Im a Giants fan and you Patriot haters are a pathetic bunch. The guy was retired and did nothing illegal.

  21. The catch here is you don’t get suspended the first time, and most of the time the first time is normally a 1 or 2 game. So this being a 4 game means you’ve been caught several times and warned about it. So this crap that it was just after “retiring” blah blah crap isn’t true

  22. A buddy of mine takes testosterone as was prescribed by his doctor. He said he feels a lot better but once you start taking it your body no longer makes its own and you cannot stop taking it. If true, I wonder how Watson will be impacted by stopping.

  23. tylawspick6 says:

    May 26, 2019 at 6:21 pm

    Goodell is an incredible cheater. It is just unbelievable. It is literally so predictable what he will do.

    The jealousy is incredible.

    ‐——————

    Way to read.

  24. I guess this shows the intelligence level these days a Guy takes a banned substance when he has no intention of playing is under contract to nobody. He signs with the Patriots and they are cheaters and its the Patriots way.

    No wonder this country is going to the dogs

  25. The last two times a Patriots player was suspended, we won a SB. Hopefully this year is no different.

  26. Seriously? They can’t suspend him. That could mean all the other Pats who were “innocently” taking PEDs at the time won’t be rewarded with another Super Bowl run. Letting that stand would be a complete miscarriage of Truth, Justice, and the Kraft/Trump way.

  27. Bill knew he was suspended before he signed him so could work out well for pats. Glad to have him, maybe he can contribute and will get some good out of him in preseason.

  28. Anyone who suggests that the idiotic phrase “Patriots Way,” well, um, he was taking it BEFORE he even signed with them. Way to fact check haters.

  29. Ben gets a pass from me, I believe his explanation. Additional rest and recuperation will add up to exceptional play beginning week 5.

  30. Ben Watson is a stand-up guy and should be respected for handling the situation as he has. For him to miss the first 4 games could be a blessing at his advanced football age.

  31. It would had been something that he felt was OK since he retired the first time. Now since he is back. NFL needs to look at like cocaine, marijuana, dangerous drugs.

  32. coolzog says:
    May 26, 2019 at 6:45 pm
    “On a related note, why is testosterone banned?”

    Because it’s an anabolic steroid that helps improve athletic performance?
    ———————————–
    Well aside from the fact its not an anabolic steroid…

  33. David Muehlhausen says:
    May 26, 2019 at 6:53 pm
    The catch here is you don’t get suspended the first time, and most of the time the first time is normally a 1 or 2 game. So this being a 4 game means you’ve been caught several times and warned about it. So this crap that it was just after “retiring” blah blah crap isn’t true
    —————————-
    Jokes on you. First time offense isn’t reported for substance abuse. First time offense for performance enhancing is a suspension. Period.

  34. This is BS, if he was retired, he has the right to gat any medical care and why were they testing after he was retired? If they make that part of the retirement process, okay, makes no sense then but ok.

  35. firerogergoodellnow says:
    May 26, 2019 at 7:46 pm

    Julian Edelman won Super Bowl MVP despite a four game PED suspension. Major League Baseball bans PED users from the playoffs and so should the NFL.
    ———————————————————————————–
    Sounds like more sour grapes out of Kansas City looking for a way to reverse the actual result on the field.

  36. Pats fanboys always have an excuse….
    Or should I say manufactured facts to fit their altered reality…..please stop insulting us with your lies.

  37. Patriots haters just sad bunch… you can’t beat em, so you just lob out the same old lame comments …man up and try to beat them for a change. – Fellow AFC East

  38. carloswlassiter says:
    May 26, 2019 at 8:02 pm
    firerogergoodellnow says:
    May 26, 2019 at 7:46 pm

    Julian Edelman won Super Bowl MVP despite a four game PED suspension. Major League Baseball bans PED users from the playoffs and so should the NFL.
    ———————————————————————————–
    Sounds like more sour grapes out of Kansas City looking for a way to reverse the actual result on the field.
    ———————————————————————————–
    Not so. I’ve been saying for years after MLB instituted the PED playoff ban that the NFL should follow suit. Even if a baseball player serves a suspension in the beginning of the season and returns in June or July, his suspension takes affect again if his team makes the playoffs.

  39. The irrational, illogical lunacy some will stoop to in their hate for the Pats is astounding, on a par with TDS.

  40. Diehard82 says:
    May 26, 2019 at 6:12 pm
    What a crock. Why submit to the testing if you decided you were done playing? Period. His story doesn’t add up.

    On a related note, why is testosterone banned?

    =========

    I love how this fan base continually tries to rationalize illegal behavior. It’s comical.

  41. He retired as a Saint. Went to a doctor and was given a prescription. Comes out of retirement and signs with NE, so now he’s a cheater!

    The logic that some of the people have on this site boggles the mind.

  42. davew128 says:
    May 26, 2019 at 7:26 pm
    coolzog says:
    May 26, 2019 at 6:45 pm
    “On a related note, why is testosterone banned?”

    Because it’s an anabolic steroid that helps improve athletic performance?
    ———————————–
    Well aside from the fact its not an anabolic steroid…

    ————
    Take a minute and look up what anabolic steroids are. Some are natural, like the testosterone that the body normally produces. Some are artificial, of which there are dozens of known designer steroids.

  43. I’m a proud Patriots fan. And I’m proud to have someone with Ben Watson’s integrity on this team. There is nothing for either Watson or the Patriots to be embarrassed about here. The many hating comments on this post demonstrate just how idiotic the Patriots’ detractors are.

  44. Robert “HandyMan” Kraft says:
    May 26, 2019 at 8:47 pm
    Diehard82 says:
    May 26, 2019 at 6:12 pm
    What a crock. Why submit to the testing if you decided you were done playing? Period. His story doesn’t add up.

    On a related note, why is testosterone banned?

    =========

    I love how this fan base continually tries to rationalize illegal behavior. It’s comical.
    —————————
    Psst. It’s not illegal to get a doctor’s prescription for a testosterone booster. Man of a certain age do it regularly, and its 100% legal.

  45. Yeah, bob just bob, it is hard to beat them when they have the best QB & coach ever, plus a track record of cheating; not to mention playing in the worst division in the league over the past 15 years & I’m not even talking about Watson…even though they all piled on when lane johnson got busted. Now, it’s somehow different when a player on their team gets caught doing it, right, Patriot fans?

  46. It is not illegal behavior.

    It’s legal and prescribed by a doctor. He has a right to repair his body and the NFL has a right to suspend.

    He couldn’t play without repairing his body so it was a no brainer.

  47. Obviously he notified the league he was in retiring and was already taking the drug. Since he was reinstated he is also under drug testing again.
    His explanation and accep5ance is admirable.
    Don’t know what a 38 year old te is going to do anyways.

  48. He’s won NFL MAN of the Year, after being nominated several times before winning the award. Also been a team captain which is selected by his peers and coaches. I doubt he’s being dishonest.

  49. Watson is saying he knew he would be suspended before even accepting an offer. He could have just stayed retired and it would have never been revealed. He obviously was ok with the world finding out. It’s not a big deal.

  50. biggs13 says:
    May 26, 2019 at 8:53 pm
    The Patriot way in full force. The worst cheaters in the history of sports. *****
    —————————-

    To hire someone that you already know will be suspended and the details behind it? They had nothing to do with his decision making while he was retired

  51. The rules don’t apply to the patriots. He has just completed the first step to becoming the super bowl mvp

  52. But wait….

    1) This doesn’t happen on the Patriots (Hernandez, Edelman, among others)
    2) CONSPIRACY. 345 is screwing us again. Signed any delusional Pats fan.

  53. Fact is a 38 yr old man doesn’t produce near the testosterone of a man in his 20’s. If the goal was “fairness” then players over 30 should be able to take a prescribed dosage in increasing increments as they get older – to keep it from NOT being an “unfair advantage” VERSUS the older players.

  54. TBH I think this is actually a blessing in disguise for a 38 year old player, I don’t think a player his age minds skipping a couple of games

  55. He offered a well thought out and detailed explanation. However, he should have informed the NFL that he was taking a testosterone prescription before taking the drug test. If you cover all the your bases it is very difficult to be tagged out.

  56. Deatailed explanation, no blame and plausible circumstances- There is a corner in Arizona (and I’m not talking about that Eagles song) that could learn from this.

  57. Robert “HandyMan” Kraft says:
    May 26, 2019 at 8:47 pm
    Diehard82 says:
    May 26, 2019 at 6:12 pm
    What a crock. Why submit to the testing if you decided you were done playing? Period. His story doesn’t add up.

    On a related note, why is testosterone banned?

    =========

    I love how this fan base continually tries to rationalize illegal behavior. It’s comical.

    ————————-

    Did anyone read the article? He was already going to be suspended before the Patriots signed him. All the teams pursuing him already knew.

  58. First 4 games of the season means he was not taking them during the season which means he was not playing in games.. How is that cheating again? Was he able to out run his neighbor and win something. Cheater.

  59. Why did BB hire this guy? He is THIRTY EIGHT YEARS OLD. There wasn’t ANYONE else available??? And now he’s not even going to play for 1/4 of the season. He WAS fantastic. The Pats should NEVER have traded him, but those days are SO far behind him now.

  60. 38 and cant play for the first 4 games? Sounds like a disaster…. BUT wouldnt suprise me if this guy ends up better then Gronk or something lol

  61. whysosenestive445 says:
    May 26, 2019 at 5:55 pm
    That’s the patriot way. He should fit right in

    —————————-
    It is. He actually broke no rules, but still everyone will act like he did. Thats the Patriot way.

    Also the Patriots way is how when the rules don’t go his way just owns it that the rules are the rules and accepts the outcome without complaint.

  62. Ben was retired… he could have stayed retired, which means he would have done nothing illegal given he had a prescription, and he could have just finished up his great career. He decided he wanted to play, so he knew that he would be suspended, as did the Patriots before he was offered the deal. What ever Watson stood to lose in terms of reputation or lost salary was known before he agreed to come back. The guy wants to play.

  63. My guess is that Watson announced his retirement, but hadn’t filed his paperwork at the time of the testing, that’s why he’s being suspended.

  64. ABinAtown says:
    May 27, 2019 at 4:36 am
    He offered a well thought out and detailed explanation. However, he should have informed the NFL that he was taking a testosterone prescription before taking the drug test. If you cover all the your bases it is very difficult to be tagged out.

    ———–

    That’s the only part of the story that isn’t sensible. He should have refused the drug test given he was retired. You don’t forget you chose to take something that is banned. I can only think that he thought he may want to come back and he thought he would risk it and he might get a clean test, and if he didn’t then he could either take the suspension or stay retired.

  65. I have no issue with this. I’d be curious to know why a dr would prescribe this but oh well. He’s always been what seems a stand up guy. No reason to not believe him. I had hoped Buffalo signed him to mentor our rookie 3rd round pick. Nothing to see here… and I think Pats fans are total losers for their comments but I agree with them here

  66. So, using the logic from the comments on this issue, if a players wants to use PEDs, all he has to do is announce his retirement after the end of a season, use whatever banned substance (not necessarily illegal) he desires, then sign a contract after his prescription runs out and/or the desired effect is achieved. Got it.

  67. He’s old, missing the first four games will likely mean he plays better when he finally does. Really is just an afterthought anyway.

  68. Sounds like the usual excuses, but, that said, if there was one guy I’d think about believing at his word, it’s Ben Watson.

  69. Jeez – why would you retire – THEN start taking PED’s? absolutely the story doesn’t add up. That’s no indication the league is at fault – there’s something else at work and the league is on to it.

  70. That’s how to handle getting busted.

    Ben Watson is a gentleman, an outstanding man.

    I totally understand using Testosterone to heal up after 16 (?) years in the NFL – it does work!

    But it’s also illegal in the NFL – so….them’s the breaks.

    Looking forward to game 5 with Mr. Watson.

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