New Orleans Saints veteran tight end Ben Watson announced on Thursday that he's retiring after this season.

Watson turned 38 this month and is in his 14th NFL season out of Georgia.

"I knew coming into this year that it probably would be the last year," Watson said. "Our approach was as a family we were fortunate to come and play for another year, but you kind of know. You hope you get to exit on your own terms.

"You hope you get to exit with a great win. And it's been great to be a part of this team and have this sort of winning at this point of my career."

His initial announcement came through an NFL Films video about his family that was posted on Thursday. Watson also confirmed his decision with reporters after practice.

"The injuries add up, the body struggles more and more. And it becomes evident that it's time," Watson said. "It's always a very hard thing."

Watson began his NFL career with New England in 2004 and also has played for Cleveland and Baltimore.

 

Steelers name MVP

With stars such as Ben Roethlisberger and Antonio Brown, Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster admitted he was a little surprised to be voted as the team's most valuable player.

But a breakout second season earned Smith-Schuster the respect of his teammates and MVP honors for the 2018 season.

"I didn't think that it was going to be me," Smith-Schuster said. "With the numbers they put up, you would think that it's always one of those guys."

Smith-Schuster, the Steelers' second-round pick in 2017, is tied for fifth in the league with 106 catches and fourth in the NFL with 1,389 receiving yards, while also scoring six touchdowns.

The dynamic 22-year-old is the youngest NFL player to reach 100 receptions in a season. He caught 11 passes for 115 yards last Sunday at New Orleans despite battling a groin injury sustained in practice.

"He's been very consistent, and he's battled through injury, on again, off again all year," Steelers offensive coordinator Randy Fichtner said.

 

Vinatieri's big year

Adam Vinatieri of the Indianapolis Colts has been achieving new feats all season and can add a couple more just three days after celebrating his 46th birthday.

If the league's oldest active player — and NFL's new career scoring leader — simply appears Sunday, he would break a tie with Jeff Feagles (352) for the third-most games played in NFL history and become only the fourth player to participate in a game at 46. The others are George Blanda (48), Morten Andersen (47) and John Carney (46).

And he may not be finished yet.

Vinatieri signed a one-year contract in March to stay with the Colts and has expressed interest in continuing to play in Indy next season.