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49ers sign veteran receiver Lee after impressive tryout

NBC Sports
Marqise Lee

Rookie quarterback Trey Lance's first completion during a seven-on-seven drill with the 49ers went to a veteran wide receiver who arrived in Santa Clara on a tryout.

It turns out, that receiver will be sticking around for a while.

The 49ers will sign Marqise Lee to their 90-man roster to compete for a spot on the team, the team announced Monday. In a corresponding move, the 49ers released receiver Austin Proehl.

The NFL Network was the first to report the agreement.

Lee, 29, joins a group of 49ers wide receivers that includes Deebo Samuel, Brandon Aiyuk, Richie James, Travis Benjamin, Mohamed Sanu, Trent Sherfield, as well as Jalen Hurd, a third-round draft pick in 2019 who has missed his first two NFL seasons due to injuries. Kevin White, a 2016 first-round pick of the Chicago Bears, and River Cracraft also have NFL experience.

Lee was one of five players who attended the 49ers' rookie minicamp on a tryout basis. He immediately stood out when he made a nice catch in traffic over the middle on a pass from Lance, whom the 49ers chose with the No. 3 overall draft pick.

During Friday's practice session, Lee finished the 24 plays of seven-on-seven drills with three receptions from Lance.

Lee entered the NFL in 2014 as a second-round draft pick of the Jacksonville Jaguars. He turned pro after three seasons at USC.

From 2014 to 2018, he appeared in 59 games with 30 starts. During his time in Jacksonville, Lee caught 174 passes for 2,184 yards and eight touchdowns.


His best two-year stretch came in 2016 and '17, when he caught 119 passes for 1,553 yards and six touchdowns.

RELATED: Lance stands out on 49ers' practice field during minicamp

In March 2018, he signed a four-year, $34 million contract extension with the Jaguars. But, then, Lee sustained a season-ending knee injury -- tears to the ACL, MCL and PCL in his left knee -- during a preseason game.

He caught just three passes in six games in 2019 before going on injured reserve with a shoulder injury. The Jaguars cut him in April 2020 to avoid paying the remainder of his contract.

Lee signed with the New England Patriots last year, but opted out due to concerns over COVID-19. The Patriots released him in March.

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