Patriots safety Devin McCourty expects Bolden to resume his football career in 2021, Mike Reiss of ESPN.com reports. Bolden originally was scheduled to be a free agent this offseason, before a COVID-19 opt-out pushed the final year of his contract back to 2021. He's scheduled for a $1.98 million cap hit, with the Patriots able to free up $1.49 million if Bolden is released, per overthecap.com. The 31-year-old RB has largely made a living on special teams, getting only 52 touches in 61 regular-season appearances from 2016 to 2019.
Bolden will opt out of the 2020 season, ESPN's Mike Reiss reports. Bolden is one of five Patriots -- so far -- intending to skip the upcoming campaign. The 30-year-old running back has played 2,016 career snaps on special teams and only 806 on offense, so his absence won't demand much of an adjustment from offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels.
Bolden finished the regular season with 15 carries for 68 yards and three touchdowns and nine catches on 11 targets for 111 yards and a receiving score over the course of 15 games. Bolden, who spent the previous season with the Dolphins, returned to the Patriots in 2019, reprising his role as a versatile backfield depth option and core special teamer. He's under contract with New England through the 2020 season and is thus slated to continue to work in the complementary role that he's handled capably since joining the franchise as an undrafted free agent in 2012.
Bolden scored a 10-yard touchdown on his only carry during Sunday's 23-16 loss to the Chiefs. With Sony Michel struggling early, Rex Burkhead and Bolden become more involved in the offense as the game progressed, and Bolden capitalized with his fourth TD of the season -- albeit his first since Week 6 -- on only 24 total touches. Despite his impressive efficiency when he gets a chance, the veteran back will probably remain primarily a special-teams contributor for the Pats over the final weeks of the season.
Bolden was on the field for just one snap on offense in Sunday's 28-22 loss to the Texans. Bolden did see action on 23 special teams snaps Sunday and that's where he'll continue to make his biggest mark down the stretch, as long as fellow running backs Sony Michel, James White and Rex Burkhead are available.
|* indicates player did not play that week|
|WK||DATE||OPP||OPP RANK||OPP FPTS|
|2||09/19||@New York Jets||20||18.00|
|3||09/26||New Orleans Saints||2||13.00|
|4||10/03||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||1||12.30|
|7||10/24||New York Jets||20||18.00|
|8||10/31||@Los Angeles Chargers||14||16.75|
|3 Year Avg||8||53||2||4||41||1||27|