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Patriots re-sign core special teamer Brandon Bolden to one-year contract

Free agency’s first Patriots domino has fallen.

NFL: New England Patriots at Buffalo Bills Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

The NFL’s 2018 free agency period is still almost three weeks away but the New England Patriots have already made their first move: As first reported by ESPN’s Field Yates, the team has re-signed running back and core special teamer Brandon Bolden, one of previously 14 players scheduled to hit the open market on March 14, to a one-year contract.

The Boston Globe's Ben Volin posted details of the deal shortly afterwards:

NFLPA records show that Patriots signed Brandon Bolden to a 1-year deal for 2018. Gets $170k guaranteed — $60k signing bonus, and $110k of his $790k salary. Also gets a $30k workout bonus. So Bolden will make $880k, and his cap number will be $720k. Key special teamer is back

The 28-year old appeared in all 19 contests for the Patriots last season and as usual was primarily used in the kicking game. Overall, he played 60.6% of special teams snaps as a gunner and frontline blocker on kickoffs as well as a rusher and protector on the punt team. In the defensive role, Bolden finished the season with eight tackles – all while also serving as a depth option at running back.

Seeing the Patriots re-sign the veteran is no surprise, especially considering that fellow special teamers Matthew Slater and Nate Ebner are also about to become free agents, as are running backs Dion Lewis and Rex Burkhead. With Bolden back in the fold, the team has secured an important depth piece at both spots.