Benjamin Watson wants to return to Saints after career year

New York Giants' Eli Manning, San Francisco 49ers' Anquan Boldin and New Orleans Saints' Benjamin Watson pose for photos after they were named the finalists for the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award at a news conference Friday, Feb. 5, 2016, in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

New York Giants’ Eli Manning, San Francisco 49ers’ Anquan Boldin and New Orleans Saints’ Benjamin Watson pose for photos after they were named the finalists for the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award at a news conference Friday, Feb. 5, 2016, in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. — Benjamin Watson wants a chance to reprise his surprising star turn in New Orleans next season.

Watson, 35 years old and heading into his 13th season, will be a free agent this offseason.

And he proved he’s still got plenty left in the tank after catching a career-high 74 passes for 825 yards and tying a career best with six touchdown catches in 2015.

“I had a good conversation with Sean (Payton) and Mickey (Loomis), and I love the Saints organization,” Watson said. “I’d love to be playing there. If not there, we’ll see where else. I think I’ll know more in about a month or so.”

Watson, who made Jimmy Graham‘s departure a non-factor in the passing offense with his ability to move the chains, would love to return to work with Drew Brees.

But he’s been around the league long enough to know there are a dozen different factors at play as the team moves forward.

“It is exciting to have the possibility to return there, but as an NFL veteran, you know how it works,” Watson said.

Watson, who is in San Francisco for the Super Bowl as one of three finalists for the Walter Payton Man of the Year Award — along with New York’s Eli Manning and San Francisco’s Anquan Boldin — loved his role in the offense last season.

He also likes the Saints’ environment.

“I like being in New Orleans,”  Watson said. “I like the community. The organization’s always treated me well, they’ve treated my family well, they’ve supported anything we’ve done. Any charitable endeavor we’ve done, they’ve supported it.”