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New England Patriots Links 3/12/10 - Benjamin Watson Signs With Browns

<em>Ben Watson shows off his athleticism in one of his finest TD catches as a Patriot.</em>
Ben Watson shows off his athleticism in one of his finest TD catches as a Patriot.

Mike Reiss reports Benjamin Watson has joined the Cleveland Browns.

Tight end Benjamin Watson, who played for the Patriots the last six seasons, has signed a three-year, $12 million contract with the Cleveland Browns, ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter reports. The deal includes $6.35 million in guarantees.

The Patriots never seemed overly aggressive when it came to bringing Watson back in the fold despite their large void at tight end. They have Robbie Agnone and Rob Myers at the position, and neither has played in a regular-season game.

Watson visited with the Seahawks on Monday and was in Cleveland on Thursday. The Browns didn't let him get away, as Watson signed the contract before boarding his return flight Friday morning.

Stephen Neal talked to the media about his decision to come back and play for the Patriots.

Q: Was there anything serious with any other teams there? Did you ever entertain the thought of leaving?
SN: To be honest, I really didn’t want to leave, but I didn’t know if the Patriots really wanted me back. One of the factors was I wanted to make sure I was wanted or needed somewhere. If something would have came up maybe I would have looked into it. In today’s game, it’s hard for people to sign with one team and be with them their entire career, and I think that’s something special and I’d like to do that.

Kevin Faulk discussed the influences on his career, leadership and wanting to retire as a Patriot.

Q: You talked about being compared to Troy Brown in an interview yesterday and how he started and ended his career in New England. Can you expand on the influence he may have had on your career?
KF: Major. Major impact. Probably over 50 percent. Like you said, just to watch him. I learned everything that he did during the time he was there with me. I’ve [watched] him be a professional in every aspect of his game, not just football.