A New England Patriots veteran is addressing speculation that he could retire following a social media post.
Longtime Patriots running back Brandon Bolden took to social media on Monday, January 17, to shut down rumors of an impending retirement after New England’s 47-17 loss to the Buffalo Bills in the playoffs. The 10-year running back stirred up speculation with a post on Instagram shortly after the loss that made it appear as if he’s walking away from the game.
“First and foremost it was an absolute pleasure play with this team this year,” said Bolden. “What can I say, not the full results I had in mind, but this was by far the most fun I’ve had playing football in awhile. I want to really thank you coaches and teammates for the opportunity to be apart of the beginning of something special.
“This was a really special team with extremely special people. I appreciate every man that stepped foot in that locker room. You guys really made an old guy feel kinda young. To see what I’ve seen and been through all that I have, i appreciate all of you and extremely proud to not only call y’all my teammates but my fam. Love y’all boys and I wish nothing but the best to all of you.”
While the post almost sounded as if Bolden was walking away from the game, the veteran running back took to Twitter on Monday night to quickly kill speculation of retirement.
Bolden Will Be Free Agent in 2022
Outside of one season spent with the Miami Dolphins in 2018, Bolden has spent his entire career with the Patriots. Initially signed as an undrafted free agent back in 2012, the 31-year-old running back has won three Super Bowls with the Patriots. As part of New England’s running back platoon, Bolden set career-highs in receptions and receiving yards this past season with 41 catches for 405 yards.
Bolden will be an unrestricted free agent this offseason, leaving questions as to whether or not his career will continue with the Patriots. Bolden filled a valuable pass-catching role after James White went down due to a season-ending hip injury early in the season.
With Bolden turning 32 years of age before the end of January and his role with the Patriots being more valuable than it would be for other teams, it’s very possible he re-signs on a cost-effective deal.
However, with White also due to become a free agent, the Patriots could choose to re-sign just one of those backs — both will be over 30 years of age next season — and ride with young backs Damien Harris and Rhamondre Stevenson as the workhorse backs.
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Patriots Safety on Bills: Not a Huge Gap
Despite the Patriots losing in resounding fashion to the Bills, safety Adrian Phillips doesn’t believe there’s a huge disparity between the two teams.
“They built up a nice roster, but I don’t think the gap is huge at all,” Phillips said. “They just made the plays that were out there to be made, and we didn’t make ours. . . . I don’t think it’s a gap at all. I will always ride with what we’ve got on this side. I think that we’re better than everybody else. We’ve just gotta go out there and prove it.”
Keep in mind that the Bills didn’t turn the ball over, punt a single time or kick a field goal during their playoff win over the Patriots. It represents the first time in NFL history that’s ever happened.
Phillips may want to re-think that assessment heading into the offseason.