In an offseason in which numerous former Patriots players and coaches are making the move from New England to Miami, Brandon Bolden is taking the reverse trip.
After one season with the Dolphins, the veteran running back intends to return to the Patriots on a two-year contract once the NFL league year opens at 4 p.m. ET on Wednesday, according to a report from NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport.
Bolden was a core special teamer and popular locker room figure during his first stint in Foxboro, which began in 2012 and concluded when the Patriots released him on cutdown day last summer. While many expected him to re-sign with the team — as he did when he was cut before the 2017 season — he instead opted to join the division rival Dolphins.
Though he’s rarely used outside of the kicking game, Bolden did have one of the best rushing performances of his career against the Patriots last season, scoring touchdowns of 54 and 6 yards in the “Miami Miracle” game.
Bolden, whose contract is not yet official, is the first outside free agent to agree to terms with the Patriots since the NFL’s legal tampering period began Monday. He joins a talented New England backfield featuring Sony Michel, James White and Rex Burkhead.
Rapoport also reported Wednesday morning the Patriots are expected to re-sign impending free agent defensive end John Simon. Left tackle Trent Brown (Oakland Raiders), defensive end Trey Flowers (Detroit Lions), wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson (Chicago Bears) and cornerback Eric Rowe (Dolphins) reportedly have agreed to deals elsewhere.