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Ben Watson, New Orleans Saints strike 3-year contract

After releasing David Thomas last month, the New Orleans Saints were in the market for a No. 2 tight end to complement Jimmy Graham.

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General manager Mickey Loomis got his man on Monday, signing veteran Ben Watson to a three-year contract.

Although Watson is just a borderline starter at this stage of his career, he makes for a fine second fiddle to Graham. The 32-year-old averaged 558 yards per in three seasons with the Cleveland Browns after spending the first six years of his career with the New England Patriots.

An upgrade on the increasingly brittle Thomas, Watson can step in and provide a valuable weapon down the seam and in the red zone should Graham miss time with an injury -- as he did in 2012 with a wrist ailment that required postseason surgery.

With Robert Meachem long gone and free agent Devery Henderson's Saints career in doubt, Watson also gives head coach Sean Payton the option of using more two tight-end sets as opposed to three- and four-wide formations.

While no team can match the Patriots' Rob Gronkowski-Aaron Hernandez tag team at the position, the Saints now have a more imposing tight-end tandem than the other 30 NFL teams.

The Saints on Monday also announced they signed linebacker Ramon Humber to a one-year contract.

Follow Chris Wesseling on Twitter @ChrisWesseling

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