Lee informed the Patriots on Saturday that he will opt out of the 2020 season, Jim McBride of The Boston Globe reports.

Signed to a one-year, $910,000 deal, Lee didn't have much financial incentive in the face of the escalated risk brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. He was in position to bet on himself in free agency next offseason while offering the Patriots reps both in the slot and outside, but the former USC star will wait until the 2021 campaign to make his attempted comeback from multiple years of poor injury luck. His absence improves the odds of fringe receiver prospects like Will Hastings and Jeff Thomas earning a final roster spot.

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