The New England Patriots haven't signed any star players in NFL free agency, but one of their under-the-radar additions could end up being quite valuable.
The Patriots signed wide receiver Marqise Lee to a one-year contract in April. The move added much-needed depth and skill at the wide receiver position, which was an area of weakness for New England in 2019.
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The Boston Globe's Ben Volin reported Saturday the details of Lee's contract with the Patriots, and New England is getting the veteran wideout at a pretty cheap price.
Contract note: WR Marqise Lee, who made nearly $17m the last two seasons with the Jaguars, signed a 1-year deal with the Patriots for the veteran minimum. Comes with $300k guaranteed and is worth up to $1.0475m. Has a cap number of $887,500 if he makes the team— Ben Volin (@BenVolin) May 9, 2020
Lee was a productive wide receiver for the Jacksonville Jaguars when healthy over his first five seasons. The problem is he's battled injuries throughout his career.
The 28-year-old veteran's two most productive years were in 2016 and 2017. He tallied career highs with 63 receptions, 851 yards and three touchdowns in 16 games during the 2016 season, and followed that up with 56 receptions for 702 yards and three touchdowns in 14 games in 2017.
Outside of these two years and a rookie campaign during which Lee played 13 games, he's missed a ton of time due to injuries. He missed six games in 2015, he didn't play at all in 2018 because of an ACL injury, and then he played only six games last season as he battled a shoulder ailment.
If Lee is able to stay healthy, he definitely has the talent to be a reliable target for Jarrett Stidham or whoever plays quarterback for the Patriots in 2020. This is a very good low-risk, high-reward signing for the Patriots. If Lee is healthy and productive, this contract will be an absolute steal for New England and set up the wideout for a future payday. If Lee is unable to avoid injury or just doesn't perform at a high enough level, the Patriots will not have cost themselves much salary cap space.