Brandon Bolden shuts down retirement speculation after IG post


It's unclear whether Brandon Bolden will be back in a New England Patriots uniform next season. But he plans to play somewhere.

The pending free-agent running back posted a heartfelt message to Instagram on Monday thanking his Patriots coaches and teammates for a great season, which ended Saturday night with a 47-17 loss to the Buffalo Bills in the AFC Wild Card Round.

Here's what Bolden wrote:

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"First and foremost it was an absolute pleasure play with this team this year. 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."

Some apparently interpreted Bolden's words as a farewell. But Bolden used another social media platform to squash any retirement talk.

Bolden is coming off the most productive season of his nine-year career while admirably filling the James White role in New England's offense. The 31-year-old averaged 5.1 yards per carry (44 rushes for 226 yards) and caught 41 passes (fourth on the team) for 405 yards and two touchdowns.

Patriots head coach Bill Belichick clearly values Bolden as a player and a leader, so it wouldn't be surprising to see Bolden re-sign with New England in his 10th season. But if White (also a pending free agent) returns to the Patriots after missing the 2021 season due to injury, it's possible Bolden could seek a better payday elsewhere.

Wherever Bolden ends up, though, he appears intent on continuing his NFL career in 2022.

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