Hours before the NFL draft started, the Patriots added to their offensive depth.
According to ESPN, the Patriots signed veteran wide receiver Marquise Lee, 28, to a one-year deal. This marks the seventh NFL season for Lee, who had been a productive receiver, but knee injuries limited him to six games played over the last two seasons.
A second-round draft choice by Jacksonville in 2014, Lee has the versatility to play inside and outside receiver. He also has kickoff and punt return ability. Lee’s best NFL season occurred in 2016, when he caught 63 passes for 851 yards and three touchdowns. The next year, in 2017, the 6-foot receiver finished with 56 receptions for 702 yards and three touchdowns.
In 2016, Lee was outstanding as the Jaguars’ kickoff returner. He averaged 30.3 yards per return and scored a touchdown. He has also returned seven punts in his NFL career for 16 yards (2.3-yard average).
During the 2018 offseason, Lee signed a four-year, $38 million contract to return to Jacksonville. He suffered a knee injury during training camp, however, and missed the entire season. Last year, Lee was again placed on injured reserve because of a knee injury. He played in just six games, catching three passes for 18 yards.
There is some familiarity here for the Patriots. New Patriots quarterback coach Jedd Fisch was the offensive coordinator for the Jaguars during Lee’s rookie season. Lee has played two games against the Pats, including the 2017 AFC Championship game, during which he caught four passes for 41 yards.
This move gives the Patriots more receiver depth. It’s a low-risk, high-reward signing for the Pats. Lee joins Julian Edelman, Mohamed Sanu, N’Keal Harry, Damiere Byrd, Jakobi Meyers, Gunner Olszewski, Devin Ross and Quincy Adeboyejo.