There’s no doubt the New England Patriots need wide receiver help in 2020, and the report on Marqise Lee joining the ranks has to help this particular area.
The New England Patriots‘ wide receiver room is better now than it was a day ago.
The Jags cut Lee back on April 20 amid what looks to be a pretty massive roster shakeup down in Jacksonville. And while the financial details of Lee’s contract in New England are not yet known, one has to think head coach Bill Belichick and Co. got pretty creative engineering some money from the previously reported $1,229,895 in available cap space.
Lee dealt with some pretty notable injuries in 2019, which limited him to just three receptions for 18 yards over six games played. And Lee missed all of 2018 with injury, too.
In 2017, though, Lee was pretty productive. Despite less-than-stellar quarterback play from then-Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles, Lee still managed 56 receptions for 702 yards and three touchdowns.
That’s the kind of production for which Belichick is hoping.
As long as it’s a low-budget deal, which it sounds like it would be, the Patriots are getting a 6-foot-0 receiving threat who was a two-year pinnacle of production within an otherwise lackluster passing offense in Jacksonville. Depending on who starts at quarterback in New England this season — Jarrett Stidham, Brian Hoyer or potentially a 2020 rookie — the person under center will need some additional weapons outside of wide receiver Julian Edelman.
Signing Lee also takes the pressure off New England to hit on what’s a deep NFL Draft class at wide receiver, too. While one would still expect Belichick to land another receiver at some point in the draft, perhaps this move suggests the Pats aren’t totally inclined to grab a wideout with their first pick on Thursday night, No. 23 overall.
Granted, New England could still go that route. But Lee offers up some insurance against any would-be flameout from a top pick.