A story on Benjamin Watson is now posted on ESPNBoston.com as he reflects deeply on his six-year tenure with the Patriots and how his life changed for the better during his time here.
Watson, who signed a three-year, $12 million contract with the Cleveland Browns on Friday, also details how his free-agent process unfolded, beginning with a meaningful chat with Patriots coach Bill Belichick.
"Leading up to free agency, there was some excitement and it's also a little nerve-wracking not knowing where your family will be," Watson said in the interview with ESPNBoston.com. "The first few days, nothing much happened and then Seattle and Cleveland stepped to the forefront. The Patriots were definitely in it, and I was open to coming back or going to anyone who stepped forward and made the play for me. In the end, the Browns wanted me the most and offered me the best deal and situation."
While the Patriots stayed in contact with Watson, they never made an official offer after free agency began. Watson has no hard feelings.
"We've been here six years, have become established here, our lives are here, so it would have been nice to come back," he said. "But sometimes stuff doesn't work out and God moves you to another place. In the end, the Cleveland Browns stepped up and wanted us. We were asked by the Patriots to keep them in the loop and my agent did that. We were open with them. They have a direction they want to go and they didn't really make a play once they knew other teams were making an offer."