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Title: Johnathan Abram Jersey
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FOXBOROUGH Tytus Howard Jersey , Mass. (AP) — Ben Watson is at the point of his career in which he doesn’t want to take anything for granted.Not the 15 years the tight end has already played in the NFL with four teams. Not the Super Bowl he won with the Patriots as a rookie in 2004. And certainly not the opportunity to postpone his retirement to return to New England — the franchise that drafted him — despite facing a four-game suspension to begin the 2019 season for testing positive for a banned substance.But after the 38-year-old completed the first day of the Patriots three-day mandatory minicamp on Tuesday, he said he wants to make the most of this latest chance to prolong his career.“You never know the road you’re gonna take,” Watson said. “My wife always says ‘Enjoy the journey.’ That’s something I’ve tried to do, although I’m very intense. I don’t enjoy it all the time as much as I should. But there really is a journey to life as well as to the NFL in general. I’m happy my journey brought me back here.”Watson, who spent last season with the Saints, announced in December that he would retire at the end of the 2018 season after dealing with years of injuries, including a torn Achilles tendon that sidelined him for the entire 2016 season when he was with the Ravens.He said in a Facebook post last week that in the aftermath of his decision to retire he was prescribed a testosterone supplement by his doctors to help his body begin to heal from the years of football.Before he could officially file his retirement papers, he said he was randomly drug tested following the end of last season. He was notified of a positive test, but cast it aside because he had no plans to return to football.That changed in late April when teams, including the Patriots, began to make overtures for him to return. While mulling over the offers, he said he was open about the positive drug test to his potential suitors.It didn’t deter the Patriots, who wound up signing him to a one-year Gary Jennings Jr. Jersey , $3 million deal last month as they continue to look to fill their void created at the position following the retirement of Rob Gronkowski.It’s a new start for Watson, who is entering his second stint in New England after stops in Cleveland, New Orleans and Baltimore.Despite the impending suspension, he will have a realistic chance to make New England’s roster. He began the Patriots’ offseason workouts as one of only three veteran tight ends on the roster, joining Austin Seferian-Jenkins, 26-year-old Matt LaCosse and a handful of rookies.That group thinned out a little more after the team released Seferian-Jenkins on Tuesday.But Watson said he’s not approaching his second stint in New England with thoughts about being Gronk’s successor.“None whatsoever. Every year is a new team, whether a same player in in the same position or not, there’s always turnover in the NFL,” he said. “So, my biggest thing is always learning what to do and perform to the best of my abilities.”Still, the Patriots are going to need to find somebody at the position that 41-year-old quarterback Tom Brady trusts and is comfortable throwing to in the offense.Watson is four years removed from his 2015 season with New Orleans in which he caught 74 passes for 825 yards and six touchdowns — all career highs. He appeared in all 16 games for the Saints last season, catching 35 passes for 400 yards and two touchdowns.He said finding chemistry with Brady is something he will have to rediscover, but that the comfort is certainly there for the two vets.“There’s very few guys I can step on the field with and say Ugo Amadi Jersey , ‘Man, I look up to that guy.’ I played with one in New Orleans in Drew Brees, a guy that’s been in the league a few more years than me,” Watson said.“Obviously coming in as a rookie and walking into a locker room where Tom Brady who was a young Tom Brady then, just four or so years in the league, but he was very accomplished.“For him to still be on the field is very cool for me. In that I’m still an older guy, but there’s still somebody for me to sort of pattern myself after as well.”Notes: The Patriots signed third-round pick and defensive lineman Chase Winovich. The 6-foot-3, 255-pounder was a four-year letter winner at Michigan, playing in 45 games with 26 starts and totaled 185 tackles, 18 sacks and three forced fumbles. GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — Packers general manager Brian Gutekunst said his veteran additions on defense during free agency gave him more flexibility with his draft picks, but it didn’t necessarily mean he would shy away from a defensive player in the first round if someone he liked was there.In the end, he liked two.Despite having hired an offensive-oriented head coach in Matt LaFleur and knowing two-time NFL MVP quarterback Aaron Rodgers is nearing the end of his illustrious career Devin White Jersey , the Packers opted instead to bolster its already-reinforced defense by picking rush specialist Rashan Gary from Michigan and speedy safety Darnell Savage from Maryland.The Packers chose Gary with the 12th overall pick Thursday night and traded up nine spots to take Savage at No. 21.Since Rodgers become quarterback, the Packers have now spent their first picks on defense in eight straight drafts.“I do have an offensive head coach sitting to my left the entire day in the room,” Gutekunst said. “(LaFleur) was great, really supportive. (He) understood exactly what we were doing. “Football is the ultimate team game, and we’ve got to build this roster to be as strong as we can at every area. We’re going to try to take the best players available that we can (going forward). If there’s more defensive players that fall our way, we certainly have room for them.”Savage could fill a keen need at safety. He ran a 4.36-second 40-yard dash at the scouting combine and had been moving up draft boards since. He had seven interceptions over the last two years for the Terrapins. Last season, he was a second-team All-Big Ten pick after picking off four passes, breaking up two more and finishing with 52 tackles.“We thought he was an absolute difference-maker,” Gutekunst said. “We didn’t think he’d be there at 30.”The 6-foot-5, 281-pound Gary was a second-team preseason All-American, but a shoulder injury limited him to nine games as a junior and he finished with 44 tackles — including seven for losses — and 3½ sacks last season. He was an All-Big Ten player as a sophomore when he had 66 tackles, including 12 for losses and six sacks.He began focusing on his future after his injury-stunted season ended with a loss to Ohio State. He declared for the draft, skipping the Wolverines‘ bowl game and his senior season.Gary took the unusual move of forming his own sports agency while still with the Wolverines L.J. Collier Jersey , proudly serving as founder and CEO. He explained in January that it fulfilled a vision he had as a high school star. Gary, who is from Plainfield, New Jersey, signed with Michigan as the top-rated high school player in the country.He wept with joy at a bowling alley in Ann Arbor, Michigan, as he and those at his draft party learned he was headed to Green Bay. He is expected start out at outside linebacker in Green Bay and move around in defensive coordinator Mike Pettine’s scheme.“My shoulder is 110 percent,” Gary said. “I can’t wait to strap on the pads and get ready.”The 12th overall pick was the Packers’ highest in 10 years since they made defensive tackle B.J. Raji the ninth selection. Green Bay had the 30th overall pick, too, but dealt it to Seattle to move up to get Savage and also sent the Seahawks a pair of fourth-round picks (Nos. 114 and 118)Speaking at the combine in February, Savage was asked if there were any NFL players he patterned his game after. His response? Chicago Bears safety Eddie Jackson, Amos’ running-mate last season in Chicago.“I kind of feel like he does a lot and I do a lot,” Savage said of Jackson. “We both bring speed, aggressiveness Johnathan Abram Jersey , instincts, make plays on the ball. I really enjoy watching him. I really study his game.”During free agency, Gutekunst signed four potential starters in outside linebackers Za’Darius Smith and Preston Smith, safety Adrian Amos and offensive lineman Billy Turner. The defense began to show some promise last season under new coordinator Mike Pettine but still ranked 22nd in points and 18th in yards allowed.Gary and Savage should help a team that also watched longtime rush specialist Clay Matthews leave in free agency.The Packers may shift their attention to offense for the final two days of the draft.Rodgers is 35 entering his 15th season and the Packers have missed the playoffs two straight years, putting more pressure on the star QB and LaFleur to deliver. During last year’s forgettable 6-9-1 season, Green Bay was 15th in the league in points, 12th in yards and a woeful 23rd in third-down conversions. Rodgers was banged-up all year, finishing with 25 touchdown passes, a career low for a season in which he played at least 15 games.The Packers also lost experienced slot receiver Randall Cobb and many believe the team needs a top tight end even though Jimmy Graham and Marcedes Lewis are back.
 
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