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Patriots release TE Ben Watson as focus shifts to Giants

Patriots: New England Nation

New England Patriots tight end Ben Watson (84) holds the ball during an NFL football training camp practice, Thursday, July 25, 2019, in Foxborough, Mass. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)

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FOXBORO, Mass. (WPRI) — Ben Watson’s second stint with the New England Patriots was short-lived and didn’t include any game time.

Watson, 38, came out of retirement in the spring only to be suspended by the league for performance-enhancing drugs in late May.

After serving a four-game suspension, the veteran tight end was reinstated on Sept. 30 but wasn’t activated for Sunday’s game in Washington.

On Monday, the Patriots announced they had released Watson.

The Georgia product was selected by the Patriots in the first round of the 2004 NFL Draft and spent the first six seasons of his career in New England. Stints in Cleveland, New Orleans and Baltimore followed before he rejoined the Patriots earlier this year.

Cornerback Jason McCourty said Watson brought more than just football knowledge and skill to the table.

“Ben is just an overall great person to be around,” McCourty said. “Football aside, a guy who is strong in his faith, mature, a father of seven, so a lot to learn from him in that standpoint. I got a chance to work out with him with our break from OTAs, going into training camp, so just a really good dude to be around and learn from a football standpoint but also, just from a life standpoint.”

The Patriots have a short week ahead of them with Daniel Jones and the 2-3 New York Giants coming to town on Thursday night. Kickoff is scheduled for 8:20 p.m.

Eyewitness Sports will have you covered ahead of the game with a special presentation of New England Nation at 6:30 p.m. Thursday on Fox Providence followed by a digital-only show at 7 p.m. on WPRI.com and the WPRI 12 news app.

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