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New Orleans Saints 2018 season recap: Benjamin Watson

Watson led the team's tight ends in receptions

On March 28, 2018, veteran tight end Benjamin Watson announced he would be returning to the Crescent City by signing a one-year contract with the New Orleans Saints. Watson made his presence known not only in the locker room, but in the community. In his 15th year in the league, Watson continued to prove he still had the "it" factor. He nabbed 35 receptions on 46 targets for 400 yards and two touchdowns. On one of those touchdowns, Watson announced that he and his wife were expecting twins by putting the ball under his jersey and holding up five fingers to represent the current Watson children, and two more fingers on the other hand to announce twins, making them a family of nine.

Watson spent countless hours in the community, not only in New Orleans but nationwide. In Week 3, he committed to donating $5,000 each week to a different charity as a part of a #FreedomFriday initiative. Prior to that, Watson and teammate Demario Davis visited the New Orleans criminal justice department with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and Saints Owner Gayle Benson in order to discuss criminal justice reform. During Christmas time, Watson sponsored 25 families and took them to a dinner and holiday shopping spree. In January, Watson was named the winner of the NFLPA’s weekly Community MVP award.

On Dec. 27, 2018, Watson announced that he would be retiring following the season. On Jan. 18, 2019, during the Saints playoff run, Watson was diagnosed with appendicitis and ruled out for the NFC championship game against the Los Angeles Rams. The Saints' loss meant that Watson's career came to an end, without having the satisfaction of playing his "last game."

BEST GAME: Week 3 on the road against the Atlanta Falcons He came up with five receptions on six targets for 71 yards as the Saints won 43-37.

BEST QUOTE: "When you look at, obviously, the player he's been in this league, for as long as he's been in this league, and then you look at everything he does off the field as far as being a husband, a father, as a leader in the community, a leader of men, you can really go to him about anything, and I think he embraces that," Sheldon Rankins told ESPN's Katherine Terrell. "I think he loves that he's able to impact lives off the field and help grown men become better fathers, better husbands, better leaders in the community. He's been nothing but a blessing to this team."


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