The Patriots are signing wide receiver Marqise Lee, according to ESPN.com’s Adam Schefter (on Twitter). He’ll ink a one-year deal as he moves on to a new team in the AFC after spending the first six years of his career with the Jaguars, who released him several days ago.
New England, of course, lacked its usual offensive firepower in 2019, with veteran wideout Julian Edelman representing the team’s only reliable weapon for former QB Tom Brady. The Pats rode to the playoffs on the strength of their defense and special teams, and regardless of who is under center in 2020, they need to surround their signal-callers with more options.
The team will be returning Mohamed Sanu in 2020, but given that they gave up a second-round pick in this year’s draft to acquire Sanu, the Pats will be unable to take advantage of an unusually deep crop of collegiate receivers until the third round (assuming they don’t take a WR with the No. 23 overall selection). Sanu suffered a high ankle sprain during a punt return in his third game with New England, and he was not the same after that injury. He recently underwent surgery on the ankle, as it did not heal on its own as hoped.
Lee has battled his own injury woes over the past couple of seasons. A knee injury sidelined him for all of the 2018 season, and he battled ankle and shoulder maladies in 2019. But he totaled 1,551 receiving yards between 2016-17, leading all Jags targets in that span, and if healthy, he represents a quality vertical weapon who would nicely complement Edelman, Sanu, and second-year player N’Keal Harry.
No contract details are available at this time, but it is almost certainly a modest deal for the USC product, who hopes to reignite his career in Foxborough.
Zach Links contributed to this post.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.