LAKE FOREST, Ill. — The New England Patriots reportedly signed tight end Asa Watson, from N.C. State and Rock Hill High, as an undrafted free agent Saturday. The signing was reported by The New England Sports Network, which cited a Baltimore Sun source.
Watson has Wolff-Parkinson-White Syndrome, which causes the ventricles of the heart to prematurely contract. He had two surgeries a few years ago to treat the condition, takes medication to keep it under control, and said before the draft he told the few NFL teams that asked about it that its a nuisance rather than a hindrance.
Watson, the younger brother of New Orleans Saints tight end Ben Watson, said his first symptoms appeared after his freshman season in 2009 when he felt lightheaded and his heartbeat sped up during a workout.
Once doctors figured out what was wrong, he had surgeries in 2010 and 2011.
Watson redshirted in 2011 to recover and came back with his best year at N.C. State in 2012. He caught 24 passes for 282 yards with his only career touchdown in coach Tom OBriens pro-style system.
Watson is 6-foot-3 and 239 pounds.
The Associated Press contributed.
Bears sign Lynch
The Chicago Bears announced deals with nine undrafted free agents, highlighted by former Northern Illinois quarterback Jordan Lynch.
Lynch threw for 2,892 yards and 24 touchdowns during his senior season. He also rushed for 1,920 yards and 23 TDs.
Lynch, 23, who finished third in the Heisman Trophy voting, is listed as a running back on the Bears release.
Free agents signings from
North Carolina colleges
Baltimore: North Carolina offensive tackle James Hurst.
Chicago: East Carolina defensive tackle Lee Pegues.
Denver: North Carolina quarterback Bryn Renner.
Miami: East Carolina linebacker Derrell Johnson.
New England: N.C. State tight end Asa Watson (Rock Hill High) and East Carolina tight end Justin Jones.
New York Jets: Saint Augustines receiver Jermaine Jones and Wake Forest defensive end Zach Thompson.
Oakland: Winston-Salem State linebacker Carlos Fields (Northern Vance High).
Pittsburgh: East Carolina offensive guard Will Simmons.
San Francisco: Catawba safety/return specialist L.J. McCray.
Invited to Panthers rookie minicamp
Texas cornerback Carrington Byndom; Ohio State receiver Corey Brown; Montreal offensive lineman David Foucault; Miami offensive lineman Jared Wheeler; Missouri receiver Marcus Lucas; Michigan State linebacker Denicos Allen; West Virginia defensive lineman Shaq Rowell; Ohio State offensive lineman Andrew Norwell.