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Patriots sign new defensive lineman Eric Lee to a 2-year deal

He should provide some extra depth for 2018.

NFL: Miami Dolphins at New England Patriots David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

The New England Patriots signed edge defender Eric Lee off the Buffalo Bills practice squad to supplement the Patriots pass rush and Lee contributed immediately. Despite having less than one week of practice, Lee played 25 snaps, recording four tackles and a sack.

The Patriots also signed Lee to a two-year deal, according to ESPN’s Mike Reiss, that includes no signing bonus, but has a workout bonus next offseason and gives Lee a chance to stick around for another year if he is able to keep his play at a high level. Lee will be a restricted free agent at the end of this contract.

Giving a player a two-year deal at this stage of the season is pretty common for the Patriots and doesn’t guarantee the player will stick around. They’ve signed players like Ishmaa’ily Kitchen and Leonard Johnson to two-year deals late in the regular season and neither stuck around for their second year.

Lee has a long way to grow as a player and is still learning the Patriots defense. Fortunately, he spent the entire 2016 season and 2017 offseason with the Texans so there should be some familiarity.

In 2018, Lee will compete with Trey Flowers, Deatrich Wise Jr., Adam Butler, Derek Rivers, and Keionta Davis for roughly four roster spots and there’s a chance the Patriots could decide to add more talent to the position next offseason.