The Patriots didn’t wait for the opening bell of the draft to start adding to their roster, signing veteran wide receiver Marqise Lee Thursday morning, according to an ESPN report.
Lee, 28, was released recently by the Jaguars, who selected him in the second round of the 2014 draft. He is coming off a three-catch season that was cut short by injuries after six games.
Injuries have dogged the 6-foot, 196-pound Lee, who missed the entire 2018 campaign after tearing his left ACL, MCL, and PCL in the preseason. His injury history dates to his career at Southern Cal, where shoulder and assorted knee injuries stunted his production.
He signed a four-year deal worth $34 million (with $16.5 million guaranteed) in March 2018.
In 59 career games, Lee has 174 catches for 2,184 yards and 8 touchdowns.
When healthy, Lee is a sure-handed receiver who tracks the ball well and is productive after the catch. He’s neither a speed demon nor a muscle man, but he is highly competitive, and he has flashed good short-area burst and nice acceleration.
Lee joins a New England receiving group that includes holdovers Julian Edelman, Mohamed Sanu, N’Keal Harry, Jakobi Meyers, and Gunner Olszewski. In addition, the club signed free agent Damiere Byrd to a one-year, $2.3 million contract last month.