Patriots Sign Former Jaguars WR Marqise Lee

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The Patriots are adding depth to wide receiver ahead of tonight's NFL Draft.  According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the Patriots are signing former Jaguars wide receiver Marqise Lee to a one-year deal.  The Jaguars released Lee last week making him a free agent.  The addition of Lee comes on the heels of the Patriots trading former tight end Rob Gronkowski to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Tuesday.


Photo courtesy of NFLNetwork.com
Lee, 28, has battled injuries throughout his career in the NFL and was only limited to six games last season for Jacksonville.  The former second round pick back in 2014 has not yet lived up to the expectations coming out of USC where he was the 2012 Fred Biletnikoff Award winner as the nation’s top receiver.  He wound up missing all of the 2018 NFL season after tearing his ACL, MCL and PCL and was limited to only six games last season for the Jaguars. 

In 2016, Lee had his best year as a pro.  He would go on to play in all 16 regular-season games, scoring three touchdowns with 851 yards receiving.  Lee was the Jaguars' second-leading receiver right behind former teammate Allen Robinson.  Lee was able to put up respectable numbers with Blake Bottles as his quarterback in Duval and should have an opportunity to break out in New England, but will have to do that with Stidham or Hoyer as his quarterback. 

With Lee coming to the Patriots he will not be required to do too much in this Patriots offense.  The Patriots have four quality receivers with slot receiver Julian Edelman, Mohammed Sanu, last year's first round pick N’Keal Harry, and Jakobi Meyers.  It can be argued that Lee was overlooked in Jacksonville due to his injury history, but head coach Bill Belichick sees value in Lee. 

NFLShop.com - NFL Jerseys and GearThe Patriots also have special teams player Gunner Olszewski and former Cardinals wide out Damiere Byrd, who they signed early in the offseason.  Byrd agreed to a one-year deal worth up to $2.3 million dollars and the team could release him to gain salary cap space. 

The releasing of Lee by the Jaguars was a surprising move last week.  The Jaguars are looking to change the culture once again down in Duval.  The Jaguars are expected to be active at the NFL Draft by potentially trading former first round pick Leonard Fournette and disgruntled Yannick Ngakoue. 

The Patriots needed depth at wide receiver.  Edelman is the only sure thing the team has at the position.  Edelman finished the year with 1,117 receiving yards and was the only Patriots wide receiver who even reached the 400-yard mark.  The Patriots could still look to the NFL Draft for a wide receiver, but the Patriots have bigger needs at tight end, offensive line, and to get younger on defense. 

The acquisition of Lee is a low risk, high reward move by Belichick, who is looking to rebuild the Patriots aging roster.  Lee says that he is healthy according to NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport.

The NFL Draft first round kicks off tonight and the Patriots are currently slated to pick No. 23. 


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Boston Sports Syndicate: Patriots Sign Former Jaguars WR Marqise Lee
Patriots Sign Former Jaguars WR Marqise Lee
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