Brandon Bolden is back with the Patriots in 2018, and he will once again play his usual role of reserve running back and special teams contributor. Bolden will occasionally have some productive moments for the Patriots on offense, but it's hard to rely on him given his limited workload, which includes just 14 carries and three catches over the past two seasons. Ignore Bolden in all leagues on Draft Day.
Bolden (illness) joined his teammates at practice Friday after beginning training camp on the non-football illness list, Mike Reiss of ESPN.com reports. Bolden has hung around with the Patriots for each of his first six seasons in the NFL, but his role in the last couple of seasons has diminished to that of a special teams player. The additions of Sony Michel and Jeremy Hill this offseason put him further behind the 8-ball regarding a spot on the final roster, so he'll need to take full advantage of training camp to prove he deserves to remain with the club through cuts.
Bolden (undisclosed) has been placed on the Non-Football Illness list, Mike Reiss of ESPN.com reports. There isn't much information on Bolden's illness. The seventh-year back will have to compete for playing time in a crowded backfield that features several newcomers, including the likes of first-round pick Sony Michel and offseason addition Jeremy Hill.
Bolden and the Patriots agreed Saturday to a one-year, $880,000 contract, Field Yates of ESPN reports. Since going undrafted out of Mississippi in 2012, Bolden has spent all six of his NFL seasons in New England, though he's only logged 14 carries the past two years. Even with backfield mates Dion Lewis, Rex Burkhead and Mike Gillislee facing uncertain futures with the Patriots, Bolden likely won't be called upon to see an uptick in offensive snaps, as he was re-signed almost entirely for his strong work on special teams.
Bolden finished up the 2017 season with 13 carries for 67 yards and one catch for seven yards in 16 games. The 27-year-old has been with the Patriots since 2012, and he's managed to stick around that long thanks to his versatility and special-teams prowess. Bolden is slated to become a free agent this offseason, but it's not hard to imagine him re-signing with New England in order to reprise his current role with the team. Also in line to become free agents this offseason are fellow running backs Dion Lewis and Rex Burkhead, but in any case, if Bolden is brought back by the Patriots, it would not be to compete for a starting slot.
Bolden carried nine times for 46 yards and caught one pass for seven yards in Sunday's 26-6 win over the Jets. With James White (ankle), Rex Burkhead (knee) and Mike Gillislee (knee) all inactive Sunday, Bolden saw work behind Dion Lewis in the Patriots' Week 17 offense. By the time the Patriots return to action following their first-round playoff bye, the team's backfield should be healthier, which will result in Bolden returning to his normal reserve RB/core special-teamer role.
|* indicates player did not play that week|
|WK||DATE||OPP||OPP RANK||OPP FPTS|
|6||10/15||Kansas City Chiefs||20||17.76|
|9||11/05||Green Bay Packers||16||17.38|
|12||11/25||@New York Jets||24||18.50|
|17||12/30||New York Jets||24||18.50|
Red Zone Trends
|3 Year Avg||26||93||0||7||67||1||21|