FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – The New England Patriots signed veteran free agent tight end Jed Weaver today. The team subsequently placed rookie tight end Benjamin Watson on the reserve / injured list with a knee injury.
Weaver, 28, is in his sixth NFL season and has played in 80 games with 36 starts for the Philadelphia Eagles, Miami Dolphins and San Francisco 49ers. The University of Oregon product did not miss a game in his first five NFL seasons, and his career numbers include 80 catches for 997 yards (12.4 avg.) and six touchdowns.
Last season, the 6-foot-4-inch, 258-pounder had the most productive campaign of his career in his only year in San Francisco, catching 35 passes for 437 yards (12.5 avg.) and a touchdown while starting 15 of 16 games. Prior to signing with the 49ers as an unrestricted free agent, he spent three seasons with the Miami Dolphins from 2000-02, earning 11 starts over that span. In 2002, he recorded six catches, three of which were touchdowns. His most productive season in Miami came in 2001, when he started seven games and caught 18 passes for 215 yards and two touchdowns. The Redmond, Ore. native was drafted by the Philadelphia Eagles in the seventh round (208th overall) of the 1999 NFL draft. He played in every game with 10 starts as a rookie in 1999, grabbing 11 passes for 91 yards and earning a slot on Pro Football Weekly's all-rookie team. Weaver signed with the Denver Broncos as an unrestricted free agent on March 19, 2004, but was released by the Broncos in the final roster cutdown on Sept. 5, 2004.
Watson, 23, was selected by the Patriots in the first round (32nd overall) of the 2004 NFL draft. The 6-foot-3-inch, 253-pounder started at tight end in the Patriots' season-opening victory against Indianapolis, catching two passes for a total of 16 yards. He was inactive for New England's Week Two clash with Arizona. The Rock Hill, S.C. native and University of Georgia product led the Patriots in the 2004 preseason with 10 receptions totaling 114 yards and one touchdown.