5 New Orleans Saints playing for a 2016 job over the final three games
Nov 1, 2015; New Orleans, LA, USA; New Orleans Saints tight end Benjamin Watson (82) celebrates after a touchdown in the third quarter of the game against the New York Giants at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. New Orleans won 52-49. Mandatory Credit: Matt Bush-USA TODAY Sports
A handful of organizations would love to have such a strong veteran leader like Watson in their locker room. Turning 35 in just three days, the former first-round pick continues to defy age, as he’s having the best season of his 12-year career, which includes stints with the New England Patriots and Cleveland Browns.
Through 13 games, he’s accumulated 61 receptions for 710 yards and four touchdowns. He had another big game on Sunday, catching seven passes for 70 yards.
So with this kind of production, why would the New Orleans Saints even think about letting him go? Well, for one, he’ll be an unrestricted free agent, so he’ll be allowed to do whatever he wants, and he should have no problem signing somewhere else if he continues to play at this level. Secondly, the Saints are going to have to make some sacrifices to fix their looming cap problem, which means parting ways with veterans, similar to what they did prior to last season.
I’m sure Watson, who seems to love it in New Orleans, would have no problem re-signing with his current club. Finishing strong is key. Continuing to prove that he can be more productive than some of the NFL’s youngest talent is ideal. He’s a great pass catcher, good blocker, and a spirited leader. Having him around to complement Drew Brees in his final years would not hurt one bit. It’s all about the Benjamins, both literally and figuratively.
Next: 1. Dannell Ellerbe