Lee, who opted out of the 2020 NFL season, is "trending toward playing" in 2021, ESPN's Mike Reiss reports. The 2014 second rounder -- who previously saw regular-season action in five campaigns with the Jaguars -- will now be further removed from the torn ACL that cost him the 2018 season and a shoulder injury that shortened his 2019 effort. Assuming he does return to the Patriots, the 29-year-old will have an opportunity to carve out a role in a wide receiver corps that can use some upgrades. For that reason, it's possible that Lee could emerge as a deep fantasy sleeper in an offense that figures to see its share of offseason personnel changes.
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.
Lee is signing a one-year contract with New England, Adam Schefter of ESPN reports. It's a pretty good landing spot for Lee, who was released by the Jaguars on Monday after playing only six games the past two seasons. The 2014 second-round pick was a late bloomer in Jacksonville, eventually emerging as a useful possession receiver in 2016 and 2017. He cashed in with a four-year, $34 million contract but then suffered an ACL tear during the 2018 preseason and entered 2019 at No. 4 on the Jags' WR depth chart. A shoulder injury forced Lee to injured reserve in late October, setting the stage for his offseason release. He'll now head to New England, where the wideout position appears shaky beyond top dog Julian Edelman.
The Jaguars released Lee (shoulder) on Monday, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reports. Lee has been productive at times in his NFL career, combining for 119 catches, 1,553 yards and six touchdowns on 201 targets in 30 regular-season games between 2016 and 2017. Otherwise, he's made just 29 other appearances since he was selected by Jacksonville in the second round of the 2014 draft, missing the entire 2018 campaign due to a torn ACL and being limited to six outings last year due to a variety of concerns. Rapoport noted Lee is "fully healthy and completely cleared medically," but the 28-year-old wide receiver still will need to pass a physical before officially finding a new employer.
Lee (shoulder) likely will be released this offseason for salary cap reasons, John Oehser of the Jaguars' official website reports. Lee never had much chance to make good on his four-year, $34 contract, suffering an ACL tear in August 2018 and then dealing with knee, foot and shoulder injuries in 2019. The 28-year-old wide receiver won't be back in Jacksonville for 2020 unless he accepts a sizable pay cut.
|* indicates player did not play that week|
|WK||DATE||OPP||OPP RANK||OPP FPTS|
|3 Year Avg||33||20||240||1||14||12.00||30|