BEREA, Ohio—The Browns had a void at tight end since they traded Kellen Winslow and with the offense that the Browns currently run, the tight end is an integral part of the offense.
The Browns identified Benjamin Watson as someone they wanted to fill that void and pried him away from the Patriots as an unrestricted free agent. Watson played his entire career with the Patriots after being a first-round draft choice in 2004.
This will be his first time facing his former team.
“Ben’s been great,” Eric Mangini said. “He’s been very productive in the passing game and he adds elements in the vertical passing game.”
Watson leads the team in receiving with 30 receptions for 336 yards, including two touchdowns. He is fourth in the AFC among tight ends and sixth in yardage.
Watson accumulated 167 receptions for 2,402 yards and 20 receptions with New England. Watson’s best season was in 2006, when he caught 49 passes for 643 yards. If his current pace continues, Watson will catch over 65 passes and go over 700 yards for the season, which will be the best of his career.
Watson is enjoying being with the Browns.
“I’m definitely, enjoying myself here,” Watson said. “I like the area and my role on the team.”
Watson said although he had a great time in New England it was time to leave.
“It was time for me to move on,” Watson said. “Everybody has their time when it’s time to move on and it was mine.”
Mangini is very glad he’s with the Browns.
“For what we’re doing, he has been productive in the running game and is a threat in the passing game,” Mangini said. “He has been everything we have expected and more.”
Injury Update: QB Jake Delhomme (ankle) and OL John St. Clair (ankle) did not practice. QB Seneca Wallace said there was a ‘big possibility’ that he’d practice Friday, but wasn’t as optimistic he’d play on Sunday after missing Wednesday and Thursday’s practice. Eric Mangini said that Wallace was not practicing today, but there was an outside chance he could be active Sunday.