New Orleans Saints 2015 Year in Review: Benjamin Watson

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Nov 1, 2015; New Orleans, LA, USA; New Orleans Saints tight end Benjamin Watson (82) catches a touchdown over New York Giants free safety Landon Collins (21) and outside linebacker Devon Kennard (59) during the second half of a game at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. The Saints defeated the Giants 52-49. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 1, 2015; New Orleans, LA, USA; New Orleans Saints tight end Benjamin Watson (82) catches a touchdown over New York Giants free safety Landon Collins (21) and outside linebacker Devon Kennard (59) during the second half of a game at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. The Saints defeated the Giants 52-49. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports /
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Benjamin Watson, the New Orleans Saints’ veteran tight end, had the best season of his career in 2015.  Take that, old age.

35 years and still going strong, New Orleans Saints tight end Benjamin Watson defied age in 2015.  Jimmy who?  There was a cause for concern after the Saints traded away their All-Pro tight end in Jimmy Graham.  However, Watson undoubtedly did his best Jimmy impression.

Watson, one of the hardest working and most in-shape players on the team, had the best season of his 12-year career, which includes some time with both the New England Patriots and Cleveland Browns.  He finished 2015 with 74 receptions, 825 yards and six touchdowns.  All are career highs since the Pats drafted him out of the University of Georgia in the first round of the 2004 NFL draft.  Watson’s efforts helped quarterback Drew Brees lead the league in passing for an NFL-record sixth time and helped the Saints finish with a second-ranked offense.

Watch Benjamin Watson grab a career-high 10 receptions for 127 yards and a touchdown in Week 6:

It isn’t just football that made 2015 such a success for Benjamin Watson, who’s also up for the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award, an honor that ‘recognizes an NFL player for his excellence on and off the field.’

In addition to the release of his critically-acclaimed “Under Our Skin”, a book that dispatches his opinion on the cultural and racial issues that affect our society, Benjamin Watson has been an incredible patron to the community.

From NFL.com’s Man of the Year page:

"Benjamin has proven to be an unbelievable blessing to the New Orleans Saints and the New Orleans community since his arrival in 2013. His reputation for giving back to the community preceded himself and has since continued with an even stronger fervor. His genuine rapport with fans makes them feel a personal connection as if he were a member of their own family, a notion that is incredibly appreciated by any true New Orleanian.Since its inception, his charitable foundation, the Watson One More Foundation, has been a vehicle to carry the hope and love of Christ to those who need it most, while understanding that the best and most efficient way to reach people’s hearts is by first meeting their physical needs. One More’s Mission is to simply be a blessing to individuals wherever they are, whether supporting existing charities or initiating programs of its own.It is no wonder why Benjamin was named one of CNN’s Most Extraordinary People of the Year in 2014. He participates in various team-related events, teammate events and NFL initiatives, including the No More Campaign. In addition to his ‘Sit Down With A Saint’ event, one of his foundation’s annual events is ‘The Big BENefit’ where 25 families from a local domestic violence shelter are treated to a shopping spree to buy gifts for their children and as necessary household items. He has also hosted dinners at the New Orleans Mission for members of its Discipleship Program, which is a 12-month faith-based transition program.For the past 8 years, he has hosted several youth football camps in his hometown. Benjamin has also been featured on FOX News and CNN as a voice on social issues such as race, persecution, ISIS and civil unrest.Benjamin is spokesman for the All Pro Dad campaign which aims to help fathers love and lead their family well. He is also on the Executive Committee of the NFLPA and is a board member of Pro Athlete Outreach."

After displaying excellence both on the field and in the community this year, 2015 has without question been one for the history books for New Orleans Saints tight end Benjamin Watson.

Next: The Best of the New Orleans Saints 2015 Season

A first one there and last one to leave kind of guy, he’s a true leader and voice both on and off the field.  Benjamin Watson finished strong in 2015, tallying 20 catches for 183 yards and two touchdowns in the final four games of the year, a stretch where the Saints would cap off the season with a 3-1 record to end things on a positive note.

His year’s-end quarterly performance to lower the curtain on the season may have been enough to convince the Saints that he’s worth keeping around at least one more year.  Watson is set to be an unrestricted free agent, but if New Orleans feels like he can continue delivering catches, yards and scores at a consistent pace, then a scenario where he is not re-signed will be difficult to fathom.  The man deserves a ton of credit, a round of applause and a new contract.  He is of much value as one of the faces of this franchise.

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