Veteran tight end Benjamin Watson intends to return for his 16th NFL season after saying in December he was retiring, and he is visiting the New England Patriots on Thursday, sources told ESPN's Adam Schefter.
Watson was the Patriots' first-round pick in the 2004 draft and spent six seasons in New England, during which he caught 167 passes for 2,102 yards and 20 touchdowns.
The Patriots have a huge hole at tight end left by the retirement of Rob Gronkowski; the team had a failed pursuit of Jared Cook - who instead signed with the New Orleans Saints - and also opted not to select a tight end in this year's draft.
The Chiefs have an elite starter in Travis Kelce, but their depth requires bolstering after losing Demetrius Harris to the Cleveland Browns, while the Bills need a proven producer to pair with draftee Dawson Knox and journeyman Tyler Kroft, and the 49ers lack a pass-catching option behind breakout star George Kittle.
Watson spent the 2018 campaign with the Saints and recorded 400 yards and two scores on 35 catches.