The New England Patriots are signing former Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Marqise Lee to a one-year contract, a source told ESPN’s Adam Schefter on Thursday.
Lee became a free agent on April 20, when he was released by the Jaguars.
Lee, 28, has battled injuries throughout his career and never became the game-changing player the Jaguars hoped he would be when he was drafted in the second round in 2014.
He played in only six games and had three catches for 18 yards after signing a four-year contract worth $34 million with $16.5 million guaranteed in March 2018. He missed the 2018 season after suffering a torn ACL, MCL and PCL in his left knee during the preseason.
The signing of Lee is consistent with an approach the Patriots have taken under Bill Belichick, identifying a once highly touted player whose value on the open market wasn’t what it previously was because of injuries or other factors.
Lee joins a Patriots wide receiver corps headlined by Julian Edelman, 2019 first-round pick N’Keal Harry and veteran Mohamed Sanu. Speedster Damiere Byrd, who played last season for the Arizona Cardinals, agreed to a one-year deal worth up to $2.3 million to join the Patriots early in free agency, and 2019 undrafted free agents Jakobi Meyers and Gunner Olszewski also return this year.
The Jaguars drafted Lee with the 39th overall pick in 2014, and he battled injuries early in his career, missing nine games in 2014 and ’15. He played in every game in 2016 and missed only two games in 2017. He re-signed with the Jaguars in March 2018 after the team was unable to reach a deal with Allen Robinson, whom they also drafted in the second round in 2014.
Lee has 174 catches for 2,184 yards and eight touchdowns in 59 career games.