Former Patriots TE Benjamin Watson retires after 15 seasons

Tight end Benjamin Watson announced his retirement from the NFL on Monday with a lengthy statement on Twitter.

Watson, who turned 39 in December, had announced his retirement last offseason before changing course a few months later.

In 2019 with the Patriots, he played in 10 games (eight starts) and finished with 17 catches for 173 yards. In a playoff loss to the Tennessee Titans, he had three receptions for 38 yards.

After that game, Watson hinted that he was set to retire for good, saying, "There's only so much your body can take."

While he didn't plan to play again in 2020, Watson has stayed connected to football as part of the 11-member executive committee of the NFL Players Association. In that role, he was involved in negotiations with owners for a new collective bargaining agreement.

He was suspended for the first four games of the season for a violation of the performance-enhancing-drugs policy. He said he failed a test because his doctor prescribed him Bio Identical Testosterone Cypionate to help his body heal and at that time he did not believe he would be playing again.

He had retired at the end of the 2018 season when he was a member of the New Orleans Saints.

Watson has played 15 seasons and has 547 receptions for 6,058 yards and 44 touchdowns. Besides the Patriots and Saints, he played for the Browns and Ravens.

ESPN's Mike Reiss contributed to this report.