Tight end Benjamin Watson turned 37 last month and will be a free agent this offseason when his two-year Ravens contract officially expires.
So what’s in store for Watson?
The ‘Good Morning Football’ crew, including retired former Ravens wide receiver Steve Smith Sr., asked Watson that question, and it seems like the veteran tight end is close to calling an end to a long and successful career.
“I think right now it’s just me and my family thinking about what’s next, seeing what doors God opens or what He closes, and then walking through that,” Watson said. “It’s on the tip of my tongue, but it’s not there yet. This is a time for reflection.”
Watson signed a two-year deal with the Ravens in 2016 and moved his entire family of seven to Baltimore to show his commitment to the team and city.
His first year was lost due to a torn Achilles, but he made an incredible rebound this year not only to play in all 16 games, but be one of the Ravens’ most reliable offensive weapons.
Watson led the Ravens with 61 receptions and was tied for the team lead with four receiving touchdowns. His 522 receiving yards were second behind Mike Wallace (748).
It was Watson’s 14th year in the NFL after he was a first-round pick of the New England Patriots in 2004. He and the Patriots won Super Bowl XXXIX in his rookie season.
Watson has gone on to catch 495 passes for 5,485 yards and 42 touchdowns over his career – thus far.
“Coming to Baltimore and signing a two-year deal, we knew that we were closer to the end than the beginning, obviously,” Watson said. “We’ve thought a lot about it, we’re still working through that process, don’t know exactly what’s going to happen next year.
“But I’ll tell you, it’s been an incredible ride, incredible career, and God has been good.”
Watson said he’s talked to Smith about retirement. Each veteran player came back from an Achilles injury to play another season while in their mid-30s, and each proved a lot in the process.
Watson has proven just as much about himself off the field, as he was honored with this year’s Bart Starr Award, which recognizes one NFL player for “outstanding character and leadership in the home, on the field and in the community.”
Watson is also the Ravens’ nominee for Walter Payton Man of the Year award. The winner will be announced at NFL Honors the night before Super Bowl LII on Feb. 3.