Two days after getting released, former New England Patriots tight end Ben Watson said Wednesday he was disappointed but holds no ill will against the organization.

Watson said he felt “something was up” when the Patriots did not activate him last week after he returned from his four-game suspension to start the season. Watson had been granted a one-week roster exemption that allowed him to practice with the team without counting against its 53-man roster. On Monday, Watson said Bill Belichick and Patriots director of player personnel Nick Caserio broke the news that he would be let go.

“The fact that both of them came into the room and both of them spoke to me, I appreciate that,” Watson said in a radio interview. “We had a great conversation about the actual release, but also about the past 15 years of football in general and some other things.”

Watson admitted he was disappointed, but stopped short of saying he felt bitter.

“No, I wouldn’t characterize it as bitter. But (I’m) definitely sad about the situation. … I understand the business side of it,” he said. “I wish I earned a roster spot, but obviously I did not do enough.”

Releasing Watson created roughly $2 million in cap space for the Patriots. Watson also shared the team never approached him about restructuring his contract.


Without Watson, the team will push forward with veteran Matt LaCosse and 2018 seventh-round pick Ryan Izzo at tight end. They have combined for seven catches through the team’s first five games.

RAIDERS: Vontaze Burfict’s appeal of his suspension was denied by a neutral arbitrator, leaving the Oakland linebacker ineligible to play for the remainder of the season and postseason.

Burfict’s appeal for a helmet-to-helmet hit on Indianapolis tight end Jack Doyle during a Sept. 29 game was heard Tuesday. The NFL announced Wednesday it had upheld the suspension, the longest ever imposed by the league for an on-field incident.

JETS: Linebacker Brandon Copeland is suing a company that sold a supplement he says was contaminated with a banned substance that didn’t appear on the product’s label.

Copeland practiced Wednesday for the first time this season after being suspended for the first four regular-season games for violating the league’s policy on performance-enhancing drugs. Copeland says he failed the test on April 15, and the NFL announced his suspension on Aug. 21.

n Jets tight end Chris Herndon was suspended for four games for violating the league’s substance-abuse policy, but his return is on hold because of an injured hamstring that could keep him sidelined a while.


DOLPHINS: Quarterback Josh Rosen, after supplanting veteran Ryan Fitzpatrick in Week 3, will start for the third game in a row Sunday, and the job will remain his going forward, Coach Brian Flores said.

JAGUARS: Cornerback Jalen Ramsey practiced for the first time in three weeks Wednesday, rejoining teammates two days after seeing a back specialist.

It remains to be seen whether Ramsey plays Sunday against New Orleans (4-1).

CHARGERS: Center Mike Pouncey was placed on injured reserve and Coach Anthony Lynn said the nine-year veteran will have season-ending neck surgery after being injured during the first half of last Sunday’s 20-13 loss to Denver.

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