JACKSONVILLE – Marqise Lee is staying in Jacksonville. Officially.
Lee, a fifth-year veteran who led the Jaguars in receptions last season, has signed a contract extension to remain the team. The Jaguars made the move official Thursday morning.
"It's a blessing," Lee said Thursday.
Lee, a second-round selection in the 2014 NFL Draft, became an unrestricted free agent on Wednesday – the start of the NFL's 2018 League Year – but agreed to a contract this week that he signed at EverBank Field Thursday morning.
"I've got an opportunity to be back in Jacksonville," Lee said. "It's a great experience, a good opportunity and I'm happy to be here. I weighed out my options and when it came down to it, I felt like this was the best place for me. It was only right to come back.
"I'm acclimated. I know the playbook. I've been in this city for the first four years [of his career]. I know the fans and I've had an opportunity to be here from the beginning."
Lee said he called teammates such as running back T.J. Yeldon and linebacker Telvin Smith immediately upon learning he would be re-signing with Jacksonville.
"It's truly ideal," Lee said. "The living situation, the team is doing well, we have great players on the team – it was ideal for me when it came down to it to be back here."
Lee, after missing nine games in his first two NFL seasons, has played and started more games than any Jaguars receiver over the last two seasons. He has 119 receptions for 1,553 yards and six touchdowns during that span, including a team-leading 56 receptions for 702 yards and three touchdowns in 14 games this past season.
He has 171 receptions for 2,166 yards and eight touchdowns in four NFL seasons.
The Jaguars on Thursday also officially signed safety Don Carey, tight end Niles Paul and safety Cody Davis as unrestricted free agents.
Lee's signing gives the Jaguars five receivers on the active roster who caught passes for the team last season: Lee, Blake Bortles, Dede Westbrook, Keelan Cole and Jaydon Mickens. Benn finished the 2017 season on injured reserve, as did four other receivers currently on the roster: Shane Wynn, Robinson, Rashad Greene Sr. and Jaelen Strong.
Receivers Lamar Atkins and Tevaun Smith have been signed to futures contracts with the organization. The team re-signed Wynn on Tuesday.
Hurns caught 39 passes for 484 yards and two touchdowns in 10 games last season, with Cole catching 42 passes for a team-high 748 yards and three touchdowns in 16 games and Westbrook catching 27 passes for 339 yards and a touchdown in seven games.
"I'm pretty much the vet in the room," Lee said. "We have a lot of things to work on as far as a wide-receiver corps and get it right for the season. We're going to get it right.
"I'm excited. I'm going to miss the players we had in there. At the end of the day, we still have to go out there and do the things we need to do."