Brandon Bolden back to Patriots, a year after they made him think he sucked

Michael David Smith
ProFootball Talk on NBC Sports

When the Patriots cut Brandon Bolden last year, he took it hard.

Bolden says that when he got cut by Bill Belichick, he figured that if the NFL’s best coach didn’t want him, he must not be a very good player.

“I learned a lot. I’m a lot stronger than I thought, because I just — when I left, I was like, ‘This is going to suck. I suck at football. This is just so bad,’” Bolden said, via the Providence Journal. “And sometimes you’ve got to pull yourself up by your bootstraps, just go back to work and stick to the grind.

Bolden spent last year with the Dolphins and put enough on tape that Belichick wanted him back, and the Patriots re-signed him this year. Bolden said he continued to think about Belichick’s coaching even while playing for another team.

“I learned a lot, and for some strange reason, every time I did something, I could hear Bill cussing me out like, ‘No, that’s not how we do it.’ And I was like, ‘You’re right, I’ve got to do it the right way.’ I had great coaching. I had such a great staff in my time being here, and it just carried me all through last year. Like, the entire time,” Bolden said.

When Bolden became a free agent in March, it was his wife who predicted the Patriots would want him back, and he was thrilled to learn they did.

“I was very surprised, Bolden said. “It was actually funny, the day before, my wife asked me, she was like, ‘Would you want to go back?’ And I was like, ‘I mean, it would be easy. I know the system. I know everybody there. Even with the coaches leaving, I still know everybody there.’ And sure enough, the next day, I got a phone call, so it was great. I’m happy to be back, excited to get back to work. I missed this place. It’s like home.”

Bolden is joining a crowded backfield in New England, with Sony Michel, James White, Rex Burkhead and James Develin in the mix. But his contract with the Patriots includes $2 million guaranteed, so he appears to have a roster spot assured. He wouldn’t have that if Belichick thought he sucked.

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