Following news that the Patriots extended safety Patrick Chung, the team has locked up another complimentary member of the squad. ESPN’s Field Yates reports (via Twitter) that the Patriots have signed running back Brandon Bolden to a two-year, $2.32MM deal. Ben Volin of The Boston Globe tweets the specific details: Bolden will receive a $660K salary (first season) and $760K salary (second season), roster bonuses of $200K and $350K, a $300K signing bonus and a $25K annual workout bonus.
Bolden was set to hit restricted free agency this offseason, but the 24-year-old will now compete with at least four other running backs for a spot on next season’s roster. Via Volin (on Twitter), the team currently has Bolden, LeGarrette Blount, Jonas Gray, James White and Tyler Gaffney signed for next year, and he notes that Blount will be the highest paid among the group with a $750K salary. Meanwhile, both Stevan Ridley and Shane Vereen are set to become free agents, and it’s uncertain whether the Patriots will bring back both of their young, talented backs.
Bolden joined the Patriots as an undrafted free agent in 2012, and the former Mississippi standout quickly made a name for himself. In only his third career game, the running back rushed for 137 yards and a touchdown against the Bills. Since then, he hasn’t produced much on the ground, and he only compiled 28 carries for 98 yards and a score in 2014.
Bolden makes most of his impact on special teams, where he forced a pair of fumbles and blocked a kick this past season. The running back ranked among the team’s ten-best special teamers, according to Pro Football Focus (subscription required), and he joined Logan Ryan and Danny Amendola as the only players to receive positive rankings on both the kicking and punting units.