Beau Allen and Marqise Lee will not be returning to the New England Patriots this season.
The Patriots released Allen and Lee on Thursday, according to a report from ESPN’s Field Yates. Neither veteran appeared in a single game for New England.
Allen was projected to be the Patriots’ starting nose tackle in 2020, but he suffered an injury early in training camp that proved to be season-ending. His release comes after the Patriots added two defensive linemen (Davon Godchaux and Henry Anderson) in free agency.
Lee was expected to compete for a roster spot at wide receiver last summer, but he opted out of the 2020 season due to COVID-19 concerns — one of eight Patriots players to do so. The former Jacksonville Jaguar has played in just six games over the last three seasons, missing all of 2018 and most of 2019 with injuries.
Though Lee planned to return from his opt-out, he faced an uphill climb for a roster spot after New England signed free agents Nelson Agholor and Kendrick Bourne (and could add more wideouts in the coming weeks).
Allen was set to carry a salary cap hit of $3.05 million this season. Lee’s cap hit was $987,500. Releasing the two frees up just $866,801 in cap space when accounting for the Top 51 rule while leaving behind $1.4 million in dead money
New England was running low on roster spots after signing Godchaux, Anderson, Agholor, Bourne, tight ends Jonnu Smith and Hunter Henry, outside linebackers Matt Judon and Kyle Van Noy, defensive back Jalen Mills and center Ted Karras and trading for offensive tackle Trent Brown. The Patriots also have re-signed five of their own free agents, re-upping quarterback Cam Newton, D-end Deatrich Wise, D-tackle Carl Davis and special teamers Justin Bethel and Cody Davis.