Lee to skip season, pushes Patriots' list of opt-outs to 7 players
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New England Patriots wide receiver Marqise Lee will opt out of the 2020 season, he told Mike Reiss of ESPN.

Lee, who signed a one-year deal with New England in April, is the seventh player from the Patriots to skip the upcoming campaign due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The 28-year-old wideout became a father in February, and he based his decision on protecting his family.

"This is a big sit-down process I had, with me and my significant other, as far as family goes," Lee said. "The risk factor in which we believe that's going out there, it just wasn't worth it in a sense. Just too many unknowns.

"We knew New England, honestly, had a great system in place," he added. "But I told (head) coach (Bill Belichick), at the end of the day, I wouldn't be doing him justice going out there because I wouldn't be able to give him my all knowing my family was back at the house worrying about their situation."

Belichick told reporters Friday he supports his players' decisions to sit out of the 2020 season. New England's opt-out list now has seven players - the most in the league - and it includes linebacker Dont'a Hightower, safety Patrick Chung, and right tackle Marcus Cannon.

A 2014 second-round pick from the Jacksonville Jaguars, Lee enjoyed campaigns with at least 50 catches and 700 receiving yards in 2016 and 2017 before battling injuries. He's appeared in just six games in the last two seasons.

Lee's current contract tolls - keeping him a Patriot in 2021 - and he plans to play, according to Reiss.

Lee to skip season, pushes Patriots' list of opt-outs to 7 players
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