The Patriots' all-time leader in all-purpose yards will return for his 12th season in New England. The Patriots and running back Kevin Faulk have reached an agreement on a contract for next season. Terms of the contract were not announced.

Despite being an unrestricted free agent this offseason, Faulk was confident he would return to New England.

"I was always 85 percent sure that I was going to wind up back in New England and 15 percent sure it [would be] anywhere else," Faulk said. "As a father, a husband I had to think about all of that besides just football — what I was going to do, what the family was going to have to do if I was going to have to leave or not. That was a weighing factor on me, as well."

Faulk has played various roles since joining the Patriots in 1999 as a second-round pick (46th overall) out of LSU. He is the franchise's all-time leader in all-purpose yards (12,140) and kickoff return yards (4,098) and is the Patriots' all-time leading return specialist, totaling 5,031 combined return yards (4,098 from kick returns and 933 on punt returns). In addition, Faulk recorded the longest non-touchdown kickoff return in team history when he covered 95 yards against the New York Jets on Nov. 15, 1999.

Faulk has accumulated 3,505 rushing yards rushing with 16 touchdowns in 152 games with the Patriots, averaging 4.2 yards per carry on 839 career rushing attempts. The veteran running back has caught 418 passes for 3,605 receiving yards and 15 touchdowns in his 11-year career, and he is one of just six NFL players this decade to total 3,000 rushing yards and 3,000 receiving yards (the others are Tiki Barber, Brian Westbrook, Marshall Faulk, Michael Pittman and LaDanian Tomlinson).

Faulk's performances have made him a leader in the Patriots locker room, a role he takes seriously.

"I'm a leader by example," Faulk said. "I'm not a very vocal leader, unless it's just really something that has to be said."

Faulk is the Patriots' all-time leader in receptions by a running back, totaling 418 career receptions. He is the 26th running back in NFL history to reach 400 receptions and his 3,605 receiving yards are third among active NFL running backs.

Last year, Faulk made seven starts in yet another productive season with the Patriots. In 15 games, the veteran gained 335 rushing yards on 62 attempts with two touchdowns, caught 37 passes for 301 yards and one touchdown, and returned six kicks for 144 yards and returned five punts for 31 yards.

The 11-year veteran will join Laurence Maroney, Sammy Morris, BenJarvus Green-Ellis and Eric Kettani in the Patriots backfield next season. Faulk understands the Patriots are in a bit of a transition period, but he likes the team's chances next season.

"Every year's team is rebuilding," Faulk said. "Our goal every year is to make it to the playoff and make it to the Super Bowl."