The New England Patriots struggled at the wide receiver position in 2019. Julian Edelman was rarely fully healthy, Josh Gordon was waived from injured reserve, Mohamed Sanu wasn’t exactly the explosive wideout the Patriots thought they were trading for and both N’Keal Harry and Jakobi Meyers failed to make major impacts during their rookie seasons. Now with Tom Brady playing for a new team, the Patriots knew they needed to get more help out wide for whoever would be starting under center in 2020, so they Marqise Lee.
The Jaguars made the decision last month to looking forward to the opportunity in front of him.— who is now reportedly 100 percent healthy again. New England could be a perfect place for him to start over after a rough couple of seasons, and he’s
“For me, my biggest thing was I just knew the last couple of years I didn’t have the opportunity to do the things I needed to do as a player,” Lee said, via Mark Daniels of the Providence Journal. “I felt like me choosing New England to go there this season in a sense to try and get back to myself. I feel like this place is the perfect place to get back and try to get back to yourself. . . . Very strict, basically all about football and handling your business. I feel like I was a little bit off on that point these last two injuries I had. I just want to get back on track and get everything on point. I felt like New England was the right place for me.”
Lee was taken by the Jacksonville Jaguars with the No. 39 overall pick in the second round of the 2014 NFL Draft out of USC. While it took him some time to get going, Lee put up a career-high 63 catches for 851 yards and three touchdowns during the 2016 season. After signing a four-year, $38 million extension in 2018, Lee suffered a gruesome knee injury in the preseason that knocked him out for the entire year. Last season, he played in just six games and made three catches for 18 yards before he was again placed on injured reserve.
In 59 career games, Lee has caught 174 passes for 2,184 yards and eight touchdowns. The Patriots are taking a low-risk, high-reward flyer on Lee with a one-year contract, hoping the knee issues are behind him. He truly does have a golden opportunity with the Patriots, as they lost Phillip Dorsett in free agency, and the majority of the other wideouts are young and still developing. Edelman, Sanu and Lee appear to be a trio that could help a young quarterback in his first season, and they also now have plenty of depth.