While seemingly the entire NFL is in Indianapolis for the 2023 Scouting Combine, the New England Patriots are set to hold their own workout session. According to a report by ESPN’s Mike Reiss, the team is scheduled to work out free agent wide receiver Slade Bolden.
Bolden, 24, did not hear his name called in the 2022 NFL Draft. Instead, he had to go the free agency route to finding a team, signing with the Baltimore Ravens.
However, a sports hernia limited him during his first summer and eventually led to his release in August with an injury designation. Bolden, who had not appeared in any preseason games, went unclaimed and reverted to the Ravens’ injured reserve. He was released off the list in mid-October.
Now, the Patriots are taking a look at the 5-foot-11, 189-pound wide receiver. It is not hard to see why: Bolden spent his college career at the University of Alabama, where he was a teammate of New England starting quarterback Mac Jones and later also worked under the Patriots’ new offensive coordinator, Bill O’Brien.
“Coach O’Brien is one of my favorite coaches,” Bolden said in a recent appearance on the Bama Standard podcast. “I think O’Brien is gifted when it comes to calling plays. He is a lot better and a lot more gifted than some people believe he is. I have seen him come up with some stuff that — it’s not necessarily that it didn’t work, it’s we didn’t execute it right.
“I love him as a person, and I feel like we got really close. I liked him as a person just as much as I liked him as an offensive coordinator.”
In total, he appeared in 42 games for the Crimson Tide and caught 68 combined passes for 712 yards and four touchdowns.