“You know, pretty tough,” Brady told repoters regarding the news that the team declined to add Watson to the roster at the conclusion of his exemption. “Pretty tough. I mean, it’s tough for a lot of guys. I’ve played with a lot of guys over the years. You know, Ben’s a great player. He’s been a great player for this team, for other teams, he’s had an incredible career and hopefully he can keep playing. I know he was looking forward to playing. I miss him. He was right next to me, and for as great as a player he was, he was 10 times a better person, just the highest integrity. I can’t say enough good things about Ben, what he’s meant to me, my family, our team. So we’re going to miss him.”
Coach Bill Belichick explained that the team simply didn’t have a spot for Watson, who was suspended the first four games of the regular season for violating the PED policy during his short-lived retirement.
“I’m the quarterback, so I don’t make those decisions,” Brady said. “Whoever’s out there, that’s who I’ve got to play with.”
That response could be interpreted in various ways, especially by Izzo and LaCosse. It also invites speculation that, in time, Brady may indeed make a personal plea to Rob Gronkowski to return from retirement. As PFT reported in July, that would be a major factor in Gronk’s consideration regarding a potential return.