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Patriots let DE Cassius Marsh go after giving up 2 picks for him in a September trade

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- In a mildly surprising move based on the compensation they gave up to acquire him, the New England Patriots waived fourth-year defensive end Cassius Marsh on Tuesday.

On Sept. 2, the Patriots had given up fifth- and seventh-round picks for Marsh in a swap with the Seattle Seahawks.

Marsh, a UCLA alum, played in nine games for the Patriots, with one start, and was credited with 14 tackles and one sack.

The team is thin depthwise at defensive end, which adds to the somewhat surprising nature of the move (although Marsh played just two snaps in Sunday's win). The 6-foot-4, 245-pound Marsh had struggled setting the edge in the Patriots' multiple scheme, but added value as a pure nickel rusher and on special teams.

To fill Marsh's spot, the Patriots signed defensive end Eric Lee off the Buffalo Bills' practice squad. The 6-foot-3, 260-pound Lee, who entered the NFL as a rookie free agent in 2016 with the Houston Texans, has been active for one career NFL game (Week 4 vs. Atlanta this year) but did not play. He attended South Florida and spent 2016 on the Texans' practice squad before joining the Bills' practice squad in early September.

The Patriots now have Trey Flowers, rookie Deatrich Wise Jr. and Lee as pure defensive ends on the roster, although linebackers Kyle Van Noy and Trevor Reilly sometimes play an edge-setting role.