Patriots WR Marqise Lee 'Just Ready to Get at It' After Signing Contract

Megan ArmstrongSenior Analyst IIMay 13, 2020

JACKSONVILLE, FLORIDA - OCTOBER 27: Marqise Lee #11 of the Jacksonville Jaguars smiles during the game against the New York Jets at TIAA Bank Field on October 27, 2019 in Jacksonville, Florida. (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)
Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

The Jacksonville Jaguars released wide receiver Marqise Lee on April 20, and while the 28-year-old landed a one-year deal with the New England Patriots three days later, he still has a chip on his shoulder.

"It's been difficult, but it's been a task in which I've quite enjoyed as far as knowing myself," Lee told reporters during a Wednesday call. "After these certain injuries, you've got some people who get down on themselves and then to want to shut it down. For me, it's kind of like a motivating factor. 

"I just want to see where I'm at. It will be good to get out there and play football, which I feel like I haven't played in the last couple years. I'm just ready to get at it."

The Jags brought Lee into the league as a second-round pick in the 2014 NFL draft.

Lee appeared in four games and recorded just 18 yards on three catches before Jacksonville placed him on season-ending injured reserve with a shoulder injury in late October. The USC product had missed all of 2018 with a torn ACL, MCL and PCL suffered during the preseason.

Lee's best statistical campaign came in 2016—his only year appearing in all 16 regular-season games—when he caught 63 passes for 851 yards and three touchdowns. His 2017 was similarly impressive with 702 yards and three touchdowns on 56 catches across 14 games (all starts).

While Lee is seeking a new start, so are the Pats.

The Patriots appear to be moving forward with second-year quarterback Jarrett Stidham following Tom Brady's departure for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in free agency. Lee will join former Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Damiere Byrd, who signed with New England on a one-year deal, and rookie third-round tight ends Devin Asiasi and Dalton Keene as reinforcements for Stidham.

The receiving corps will continue to be led by 33-year-old Super Bowl LIII MVP Julian Edelman, who led all New England pass-catchers with 1,117 yards and six touchdowns last season.