"As a professional athlete for the last 15 years I know very well the limitations on what can be prescribed for my overall health," Watson explained on his Facebook page. "After my contract expired last March I told my doctors I was finished playing, went through a series of medical tests and was prescribed Bio Identical Testosterone Cypionate to assist in healing my body and mind.
"On March 29, nine days after I started therapy, I was randomly tested under our substance policies. I complied out of habit, never thinking in that moment I'd want to come back. In late April, some clubs expressed interest in me playing and after much deliberation and prayer, I decided I wanted to return. Considering myself previously retired, I had forgotten all about my test in March until I got a letter on May 3rd saying my results were positive."
Watson, 38, retired soon after the 2018 season but the team that initially drafted him in 2004 came calling in wake of Rob Gronkowski's own retirement.
"I was devastated and for obvious reasons did not want to proceed," Watson said. "At that point I knew that my decision to return to play would include a four game suspension and I immediately discussed this new development with the clubs. Ultimately I decided to pursue another year and on May 9 the Patriots offered me a contract in spite of these circumstances. I am excited and thankful to return to New England but very disappointed that I will not be able to play and contribute immediately. This is not how I would want to enter a new locker room and attempt to earn my role on a new team. However, I respect the regulations that have been collectively bargained to promote fairness on the field of play and accept the discipline associated with my infraction."
The NFL has yet to officially issue a suspension or comment on the matter.
"My goals as an athlete, teammate, friend, father, husband and believer have not changed," Watson ended in the post. "To live a life of integrity and humility while standing for kindness, justice and righteousness and to serve the people in the cities, regions and organizations that God places me in. Until my last day I will continue to pursue excellence in my craft and perform to the best of my ability. I am grateful for yet another opportunity to do so in the NFL."