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Ravens TE Benjamin Watson receives Bart Starr Award for outstanding character, leadership

Ravens TE Benjamin Watson receives Bart Starr Award for outstanding character, leadership
Tight end Benjamin Watson is the first Raven to win the Bart Starr Award. (Amy Davis / Baltimore Sun)

Ravens tight end Benjamin Watson added another honor to a growing list when he was informed Thursday that he was the recipient of this year’s Bart Starr Award. The honor recognizes one NFL player who demonstrates outstanding character and leadership in the home, on the field, and in the community.

Watson is the first Ravens player to win the Bart Starr Award. The most recent citation follows Watson being named the Ravens’ nominee for the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award on Dec. 7 and the team’s Ed Block Courage Award winner on Dec. 21.

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In a video posted to the team’s Twitter account, Watson was summoned to coach John Harbaugh’s office where Starr’s wife, Cherry, informed him of the news. Watson said he was initially anxious about going to Harbaugh’s office.

“It is always scary when you get called to the principal’s office,” he quipped. “And then they were very secretive. So you never know what it is.”

After listening to Cherry Starr present him with the recognition, Watson said, “This is an honor. I’m kind of speechless. But I’m really honored to represent you and your family and represent all that your family stands for, all that Bart stood for and continues to stand for with his legacy.”

On the field, Watson paced the offense in receptions (61) and was tied with wide receiver Mike Wallace for the team lead in touchdown catches (four). Watson also ranked second in yards (522) in a remarkable display after suffering a torn right Achilles tendon that wiped out his 2016 season. Off the field, Watson heads his own charity called the One More Foundation that has tried to help fight sex trafficking and has matched all donations made to local schools in Baltimore.

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