The New England Patriots have yet to announce their initial 53-man roster. One player who will not be on it, however, has been reported by ESPN's Field Yates:
Source: the Patriots have released RB Brandon Bolden. Could be a guy who returns down the line.— Field Yates (@FieldYates) September 2, 2017
Patriots did cut Brandon Bolden, but per a league source, it certainly sounds like they are trying to find a way to keep him around.— Christopher Price (@cpriceNFL) September 2, 2017
BSJ’s Chris Price implies that the Patriots are trying to find a way to keep Bolden with the team. Perhaps they’re waiting to place certain players on the Injured Reserve after the final roster is set in order to be allowed to activate those players in the middle of the year, and then Bolden could rejoin the team.
The Patriots might also wait to sign Bolden until after the first week of the season so they don’t have to guarantee his veteran salary.
Bolden originally joined the Patriots as an undrafted free agent in 2012. Since then, he has become a regular on special teams and appeared in a total of 79 games for the team – winning two Super Bowl rings in the process.
In 2016, he played the fifth-most snaps on the team in the kicking game: He was on the field for 265 snaps (of 449; 59.0%) during the regular season and 62 (of 93; 57.7%) in the playoffs. And after a spending some time on the open market following Super Bowl LI, Bolden re-signed with the Patriots on a one-year, $775,000 contract.
With the Patriots adding considerable talent at the running back position throughout the offseason, however, Bolden's roster spot was in jeopardy since the start of training camp. And even though he had a solid preseason – finishing with 13 carries for 66 yards – it was not enough for him to establish a spot on the 53-man roster.