Cornerback, linebacker sign

The Green Bay Packers Thursday signed free-agent cornerback Chris Watson and re-signed exclusive-rights free agent linebacker Paris Lenon.<p>

Watson, 26, spent 2003 training camp and the first week of the regular season with Detroit, where he worked with new defensive backs coach Kurt Schottenheimer, Packers then the Lions defensive coordinator. After signing him May 5, 2003, the Lions on Sept. 6 placed him on injured reserve (back), then terminated him (injury settlement) six days later, and he remained out of football for the balance of the year.

Watson (6-foot-1, 197-pounds) joined the Lions after three seasons (2000-02) with Buffalo, where he played 44 games and started 13. Originally drafted by Denver in the third round (67th overall) of the 1999 NFL draft, Watson earned a spot on the College & Pro Football Newsweekly All-Rookie team as a kick returner. The Broncos dealt Watson to the Bills Aug. 27, 2000, for a conditional fourth-round draft choice.

A fifth-year veteran, Watson has played in 58 career games, with 14 starts, and totaled 110 total tackles (83 solo), two interceptions, 23 passes defensed and 25 special-teams stops. An experienced return man, he has 97 career kickoff returns for 2,128 yards (21.9 average) and 77 career punt returns for 497 yards (6.5 average), including an 81-yard touchdown his rookie season with Denver.

Watson lettered four years and started three seasons at Eastern Illinois.

Lenon, the Packers' versatile backup linebacker, has proven one of the Packers' most consistent special-teams performers the last two seasons. In 2003, he played in all 16 games for the second straight year in spite of several injuries over the course of the season.

The 6-foot-2, 240-pound Lenon tied for second (with William Henderson) among Packers in special-teams stops with 16, and led Green Bay in special-teams blocks with 61. In 2002, his 22 special-teams tackles were the most by a Packers player in 12 years. The epitome of perseverance, he worked during the 2000 NFL season for the U.S. Postal Service, and eventually earned a spot on the Packers' 2002 season-opening roster after stints in the XFL and NFL Europe.

Packer Report Top Stories