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Report: Patriots signing Marqise Lee to one-year deal

The Patriots are adding Marqise Lee after trading unretired Rob Gronkowski. There are plenty of targets to be had in New England, but can Lee stay healthy and prove productive?

Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Marqise Lee makes a reception during the first quarter against the New York Jets at TIAA Bank Field. Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports

The New England Patriots are signing free agent wide receiver Marqise Lee to a one-year contract, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter. The move comes two days after the team traded tight end Rob Gronkowski to the Buccaneers.

Lee missed the entire 2018 season with a knee injury, and then after playing six games in 2019, missed the remaining ten games of the season. Prior to 2018, he signed a sizable four year contract based on a solid 2016 and 2017. In those two seasons, he had a combined 119 receptions for 1,553 yards and six touchdowns.

He joins a Patriots team that saw Julian Edelman lead the way with 100 receptions for 1,117 yards and six touchdowns. James White was second on the team with 72 receptions for 645 yards and five touchdowns. Phillip Dorsett was the next best receiver, with 29 receptions for 397 yards and five touchdowns.

N’Keal Harry returned from injury to play in seven games and catch 12 passes for 105 yards and two touchdowns. New England will be counting on a big step forward from Harry, but otherwise they’ll be looking for receivers to step up. The team is likely to add someone from the deep 2020 receiver class, but there is room for Lee to grab some playing time if he can stay healthy.

Lee is not a decent fantasy option at this point, so he should remain off draft boards. However, he’s worth keeping on your radar either as a late flier in deeper leagues, or as someone to target on the waiver wire.