New England Patriots

Finalist Benjamin Watson of the New Orleans Saints speaks during the 2015 Walter Payton Man of the Year Finalist press conference prior to Super Bowl 50 at the Moscone Center West on February 5, 2016 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Mike Lawrie/Getty Images)

By Matt Dolloff,

FOXBORO, Mass. — Bill Belichick didn’t see an opening on the Patriots’ roster for tight end Ben Watson. But that doesn’t mean he might not find one in the future.

Asked on Tuesday about the team’s decision to release Watson as his roster exemption expired, Belichick offered a little nugget that suggests Watson could find his way back on the Patriots at a later date.

“We just don’t have a roster spot for him right now – maybe that’ll change, but for the moment that’s where it is,” said Belichick.

The Patriots certainly do boast one of the deepest rosters in the National Football League with little potential for turnover. But they do have a few newer pieces whose spot may not be as safe as others.

Aug 9, 2018; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots safety Jordan Richards (37) tackles Washington Redskins full back Elijah Wellman (38) during the first quarter at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Paul Rutherford-USA TODAY Sports

Belichick recently brought back safety Jordan Richards in the wake of Patrick Chung having to miss Sunday’s 33-7 win over the Redskins with a heel injury. He also signed quarterback Cody Kessler, ostensibly to help run the scout team offense and manage Tom Brady and Jarrett Stidham’s workloads at practice. They can use all the depth they can have on the offensive line right now, so it would be hard to cut bait with tackle Korey Cunningham or guard Jermaine Eluemunor.

So where, exactly, would Watson even fit in? The fact that the Patriots held on to Richards indicates that he’ll play in Chung’s place again on Thursday night. Kessler may be valuable enough to stick around all season in order to help keep Brady fresh before games.

Next week, though? As Belichick said, maybe that will change.

Matt Dolloff is a digital producer for Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for Matt? Follow him on Twitter @mattdolloff or email him at