The Facts: Watson announced on social media that he was stepping away from football after 16 seasons. “My parents tell me that as a young child I would declare that when I grew up I wanted to be ‘a football player and a missionary,’” Watson wrote. “For the past 16 seasons God has granted me the opportunity to do both as I walk beyond the field my sincere hope is that I was a trusted brother and fried to the hundreds of teammates and families I was blessed to share my football life with and that I earned their respect as a player and most importantly, as a man.”
Diehards Line: The Patriots’ first-round pick in 2004, Watson finished with the Patriots last year after spending time with the Browns, Ravens, and Saints. He came out of retirement last year, missed the first four games with a suspension, but returned for one more year. He effectively admitted after the Patriots’ playoff loss to the Titans that he was likely finished. He was just elected for another term to the NFLPA Executive Committee.