Ten days ago, New England signed defensive end Eric Lee off the Bills' practice squad and he played 25 snaps in the Patriots' 35-17 victory against the Dolphins in his NFL debut Sunday.
Lee had four tackles and a sack and had a bull rush that led to another sack of Matt Moore by Trey Flowers.
"I think given the circumstances that he played in, he did a really good job for us," coach Bill Belichick said. "We'll see if he can build on that this week and see where that takes us. I'm not sure, but it was good to have him."
As noted by Mike Reiss of ESPN.com, the Patriots showed a good-faith gesture in signing Lee to a two-year deal, giving Lee a significant pay increase and showing that they have longer-term plans for him. It includes no signing bonus, but he signed for a base salary of $465,000 for this season and a base of $555,000 in 2018. The 2018 deal also has a $15,000 workout bonus.
As Reiss notes, Lee would have been an exclusive rights free agent after this season and the Patriots could have tendered him.