Browns TE Ben Watson On Pace For Career Year

In his first six seasons with the New England Patriots, tight end Ben Watson caught 167 passes for 2,102 yards and 20 touchdowns. Not bad, but not enough to prompt the Patriots to re-sign him in the off-season.

The former Georgia standout received interest from the Seattle Seahawks, whose new offense was to feature more two-tight end sets, and the Cleveland Browns, where he'd sign a three-year deal worth $12 million, including $6.4 million guaranteed.

Watson has started all 12 games this season, and has been a security blanket for all three of the Browns' starting quarterbacks, leading the team with 77 targets. Watson's 10-catch game last Sunday against Miami gave him 50 on the season, eclipsing his previous single-season high of 49 from 2006, and putting him three catches behind running back Peyton Hillis for the team lead.

Watson's 574 receiving yards and 3 touchdowns lead the Browns, and he's within striking distance of setting new career-highs in both categories. Watson is enjoying his increased role in the offense.

"It feels great," Watson said this week, according to Bill Lubinger of the Cleveland Plain-Dealer, "definitely feels great to have your number called and be a part of the offense."

Watson turns 30 later this month, and will remain a bit of a bargain for the Browns in the final two years of his contract.

According to a league source, Watson received a $2.5 million signing bonus and his $3.9 million base salary this season is guaranteed. In addition to $100,000 workout bonuses in 2011 and 2012, Watson is slated to earn base salaries of $2.42 million (2011) and $2.88 million (2012), though his '12 salary could reduce by $500,000 if Watson reaches certain receiving benchmarks to trigger a $500,000 bonus in 2011.

0 points

Log in to comment and more!

Not a member yet? Join free.

If you have already commented on Cheesehead TV in the past, we've created an account for you. Just verify your email, set a password and you're golden.