Belichick on Ben Watson: “Just don’t have a roster spot”

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Veteran tight end Ben Watson may not be done with football, after the Patriots released him yesterday.

But the Patriots were clearly done with him, choosing not to activate him after his suspension ended, along with a roster spot.

Via Nick Goss of, Patriots coach Bill Belichick reacted with his usual compassion during his interview on WEEI when asked about not activating the 38-year-old tight end.

Just don’t have a roster spot,” Belichick said. “We only have so many roster spots. If we put somebody on, we have to take somebody off.

“Right now, there wasn’t a roster spot. We didn’t feel like there was somebody we could create a roster spot with. Everybody came out of the game healthy. We have a decent team. So, I think that’s where we’re at.”

The Patriots have generally gone tight end-heavy, but only have Ryan Izzo and Matt LaCosse on the roster at the moment, with seven catches between them.

Watson said on Twitter he was “beyond disappointed,” but there are indications he wants to continue to play. He caught 35 passes for 400 yards and two touchdowns for the Saints last year, so there’s evidence he can help someone.

17 responses to “Belichick on Ben Watson: “Just don’t have a roster spot”

  1. A third QB and Jordan Richards were deemed more important than Watson. That speaks volumes.

  2. Emmanuel Sanders/Eiffert/AJ GReen (long shot)

    We signed sanders to an offer sheet in 2013 I believe, and the steelers matched it. Pats are going after a wide receiver, and possibly a TE. Wynn and Develin will probably be the 2 returning from IR.

  3. I read Ben Watsons response to getting let go. Just prior to his induction in the NFL HOF Ty Law docu talked about him returning to the Patriots … a deal the team just could not make work… Law looked heart broken… Ben Watsons response was much like that. Its too bad, would have liked to have seen #84 back in Patriot Blue

  4. I think it’s safe to say that Watson did not show much in camp or in recent practices, or at least not enough to justify BB paying him more than the younger guys with more upside on the roster.

  5. Pats needed the cap space more than a 39 YO player coming off a pre season concussion…..
    Loved Ben & wish him the best…’s a younger mans game especially at that position….IZZO is showing some good strides in his development….. not sold on LaCosse just yet even though he’s getting more playing time than Izzo…..
    Go Pats!!!

  6. Surprising. I thought experience would rule the day. Either Watson was not sharp, or one game which included TE catches was enough to stay the course. In BB we trust.

  7. Sure Bill, because you can’t do without guys like JRichards on the roster. Pats screwed Watson. They knew he would have to go thru the embarrassment of being caught and suspended for PEDs. This was because he thought he was retiring and trying to help his body recover, not to cheat. Watson also had to uproot his family. Bill should have admitted that they need the cap money, plus possibly a WR, because of the ABrown fiasco. They have to carry 4.5 mil cap chg for nothing. This was partly due to not doing their due diligence in their rush to sign Brown before a rival got him. Also because Brown being Brown, he screwed up after he got here. Surprise, surprise. Too tempting, because it might have made the Pats virtually invincible, but in hindsight, not worth it. It’s gonna bite their butt for awhile. But, please, don’t blow smoke with this roster spot stuff.

  8. There was a lot of talk about trading Kyle Rudolph to the Patriots this summer and I dismissed it because it didn’t make sense for the Vikings to get rid of their starting tight end when they were going to be running a two tight end offense a lot of the time. Six catches for 36 yards and no touchdowns later, I’ve changed my mind. Rudolph has been ignored in the passing game and spends most of his time blocking now. He’s not a great blocker. Irv Smith has looked really good both blocking and catching. They can get David Morgan off the PUP list after this week. I think it’s time for both teams to seriously consider this trade.

  9. he doesn’t owe an explanation to anyone. he has 8 rings. turn on the tv, find the channel, stuff your face, shut up and enjoy the game; bill handles the rest.

  10. Like the POTUS, Belichick is not above criticism. That’s what sites like these are for. If people want to be kool-aid drinkers and think it’s all perfection, fine. Go have fun with that. BB is the GOAT, but he ain’t perfect. He makes mistakes. He doesn’t owe anyone an explanation. But, nonsense excuses are beneath him. If I think he deserves to be called out, I’ll do it. I’m not going to just shut up and enjoy the game.

  11. Someone already mentioned this, but Eifert to the Pats is a good bet. They’ll certainly try for it, at least. But Rudolph is a good bet too, as is Sanders. Again, this has all been said.

    One thing to also consider is that the Rams have two young receiving TEs in Everett and Higbee, though Higbee’s injuries complicate the issue. The Bucs also have two receiving TEs, and have been utilizing that position much less in the passing game this year. Cameron Brate would be a trade target in my mind.

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