The 28-year-old wide receiver missed the entire 2018 season after suffering a major knee injury, and he was limited to just six games in the 2019 campaign due to a shoulder injury. Lee signed a one-year contract with the Patriots in April, and during a video conference call with reporters Thursday, he explained his decision to sign with New England.
Download the MyTeams app for the latest Patriots news and analysis
"For me, my biggest thing was I just knew the last couple years I didn't really have the opportunity to go out there and do the things I felt like I needed to do as a player," Lee said.
"I felt like me choosing New England, just to go there as far as this season was in the sense of just trying to get back to myself. I felt like which place is the perfect place to get back and try to get back to yourself other than New England ? Very strict, basically just all about football and handling your business. So, I feel like I was a little bit off on that point with these last two injuries I had, so I just wanted to get back right on track, get everything back on point, and I felt like New England is the right place for me."
Lee can rely on Patriots head coach Bill Belichick putting him in the best position to succeed, and as a player who's struggled with injuries and finding his role over the last two seasons, this kind of coaching is pretty valuable.
The 28-year-old wideout also has a great opportuity to play a meaningful part in the Patriots offense if he can stay healthy. The Patriots aren't loaded at wide receiver, and after Julian Edelman, the talent on the depth chart really starts to decline. Mohamed Sanu should be better than he was in 2019 after offseason surgery, but he still has to show it. N'Keal Harry, who was New England's 2019 first-round draft pick, battled injuries as a rookie and has a lot to prove entering his second season.
A healthy Lee should be more productive than Jakobi Meyers and Damiere Byrd. Lee's two-best seasons were in 2016 and 2017 when tallied 119 receptions, 1,553 yards and six touchdowns over that two-year span.
From the Patriots' perspective, signing Lee was a good low-risk, high-reward move.
Lee reportedly signed for the veteran minimum, and his salary cap hit for 2020 is only $887,500 (assuming he makes the team). If he plays well, the Patriots got a steal. If Lee struggles, the Patriots didn't give up much to take the chance.
Marqise Lee's explanation for signing with Patriots makes a lot of sense originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston