The end of an NFL regular season can often be a time for reflection for players, especially veterans. For at least two prominent players around the league, that reflection has led to decisions to retire.
Reports began circulating over the last 24 hours that New Orleans tight end Benjamin Watson and Buffalo defensive tackle Kyle Williams will hang it up at the completion of the 2018 campaign. For Williams, that means Sunday’s clash with Miami in Orchard Park will be his final game.
Bill Belichick has plenty of experience with both. Watson was one of his two first-round picks (along with Vince Wilfork) in 2004 while Williams spent his entire 13-year career with the Bills, going against the Patriots twice per season during that time.
Belichick was asked about the two during his Friday press and offered some memories of interacting with both.
“Both great players. Guys I have a lot of respect for,” Belichick said. “I knew Ben from when he was here but I stayed in contact with Ben through the course of his career.
“Kyle I got to know at the Pro Bowl, that was a long time ago. I’ve seen him on a regular basis. Both guys are good people and been great players with great careers. I have a lot of respect for both of them.”
Watson spent the first six years of his career in New England, catching 20 touchdowns for the Patriots, before stints in Cleveland, Baltimore and New Orleans. He has 33 receptions for 371 yards and two touchdowns for the NFC-leading Saints this season.