Summer 2024

Benjamin Watson released by Patriots, says 'God of victory is also God in failure'

Tight end Benjamin Watson, who came out of a brief retirement to sign with the New England Patriots, has been released, he announced Monday. The 38-year-old did not mention retirement.

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“I gave my all, but it was not enough to earn a spot on the Patriots roster,” he tweeted.

A man of strong faith in Christ, Watson also said, “The God of victory is also God in failure.”

At the end of his post he referenced Romans 8:28, which reads, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.”

Watson announced in December that his 15th NFL season would be his last, but his retirement lasted just over four months. After much prayer, he felt like the situation in New England was a good opportunity for him and his family.

And Watson decided to stick with his commitment to the Patriots even after he failed an NFL test for performance-enhancing drugs. He said he was prescribed “Bio Identical Testosterone Cypionate” to assist in healing his body and mind, as he thought he was done playing. But tests returned positive results after he decided to play again, and he was given a four-game suspension.

“Yes, I’d rather this never happened,” Watson wrote for The Increase, “and I’m dreading the weeks I’ll have to sit out, but I can see God’s redemption of all situations and I’m thankful for the chance to be transparent, especially in my own home. When my kids look back on this, I hope they will have learned something about strength of character from their father. I hope that others can see my motive to honor Christ through my words and actions. Even though I’m far from perfect, I aim to represent Christ in every opportunity I’m given.”

According to the NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, Watson “does want to keep playing, I’m told. So retirement gets pushed off [again] as he looks for a new home.”

You can be sure the Watsons’ next home will be found after more time in prayer.

“There have been some times in my life when I’ve been really consistent and faithful in prayer, and a lot of times when I haven’t,” he recently wrote for The Increase. “When I look back and see the times I’ve made this a priority — both corporate prayer, prayer with my wife and family, and personal prayer — it’s never been a bad thing. There has never been a time when I’ve thought, ‘Man, I could have been doing something else with that time.’ Never!”

For his career, Watson owns 530 receptions, 5,885 yards and 44 touchdowns. He was a first-round selection by New England in the 2004 NFL Draft out of Georgia, and has also played for New Orleans, Baltimore and Cleveland.

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