Ben Watson was not activated by the Patriots at 4 p.m. on Monday, making him a free agent, but the 38-year-old has no plans to retire, according to the NFL Network's Ian Rapoport.
#Patriots TE Ben Watson, who was not activated today by New England meaning his tenure is over, does want to keep playing, I’m told. So retirement gets pushed off against as he looks for a new home.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) October 7, 2019
Signed by the Patriots, Watson's second tenure with the Patriots (and out of presumed retirement) began with a four-game suspension for an offseason violation of the league's performance-enhancing drug violation, then Watson was concussed by Panthers safety Eric Reid in the preseason, and then the Patriots obviously chose not to activate him by Monday's deadline.
It's the kind of timeline that'd lead you to believe that Watson would indeed retire, but the decision was undoubtedly made by the Patriots, who saved just under $2 million in cap space by cutting ties with Watson.
There's also Watson's first tweet since leaving the Patriots, which indicated that while he tried his best to make the Patriots, it was Bill Belichick's decision not to cut a player from the 53-man roster to bring Watson into the fold.
The God of victory is also God in failure. I gave my all, but it was not enough to earn a spot on the @Patriots roster. I’m beyond disappointed but even more upset for my family who has supported me with all the love a husband and father could ask for.They are my heroes. Rom 8:28
— Benjamin Watson (@BenjaminSWatson) October 7, 2019
With Watson cut, the Patriots will roll with a tight end group featuring Ryan Izzo and Matt LaCosse.