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2021 NFL free agency: Patriots reportedly release defensive tackle Beau Allen, wide receiver Marqise Lee

Related: Patriots free agency tracker: News, rumors, signings, instant analysis

Tampa Bay Buccaneers v Tennessee Titans Photo by Frederick Breedon/Getty Images

The New England Patriots have been among the most aggressive teams in the league since the start of the legal tampering period on Monday. They signed ten players from outside the organization while also re-signing three others and placing tender sheets on two more. Now, they have also made their first post-addition cuts.

According to ESPN’s Field Yates, the Patriots have released defensive tackle Beau Allen and wide receiver Marqise Lee.

DT Beau Allen

Allen originally arrived in New England last spring, when he signed a two-year, $7 million contract with the club. Originally expected to help replace free agency departee Danny Shelton at the nose tackle position, the big-bodied defender was a non-factor after already missing the entire full-team portion of training camp for undisclosed reasons. He made the team’s initial 53-man roster but was moved to injured reserve shortly thereafter.

Allen returned to the practice field in late October, opening a 21-day window in which he could either be activated or remain on IR for the remainder of the season, but he never made it back. His first year with the team ended with zero in-game appearances, and one big question mark next to his name heading into 2021.

Now, those questions have been answered. Allen will not return for a second season, which in turn creates net salary cap savings of $1.08 million. The writing for that move was on the wall not just due to his year-long absence but also because the Patriots significantly bolstered their interior defensive line in free agency: they signed Davon Godchaux and Henry Anderson, and also retained Deatrich Wise Jr. and Carl Davis.

WR Marqise Lee

Lee originally signed a one-year contract with the Patriots in April, after spending the first six years of his career with the Jacksonville Jaguars. Just three months later, however, he exercised the Coronavirus opt-out clause in order to protect his newborn daughter, Alia. While he did return to New England to participate in an end-of-year physical the Patriots asked their eight opt-outs to take, he has now been let go.

Just like Allen, Lee will leave the Patriots without having appeared in even a single game for the club. The free agency additions of fellow wideouts Nelson Agholor and Kendrick Bourne all but sealed his fate.