BOSTON (CBS) — The news of Patriots opting out of the 2020 season is coming fast and furious, and now running back Brandon Bolden can be added to that list.
The veteran running back/special teamer won’t be playing in 2020, according to ESPN’s Mike Reiss and WEEI’s Nick “Fitzy” Stevens.
Bolden becomes the fifth Patriots player to choose to opt out, joining LB Dont'a Hightower, OT Marcus Cannon, FB Danny Vitale and C/G Najee Toran.
— Mike Reiss (@MikeReiss) July 28, 2020
As Reiss noted, Bolden is the fifth Patriots player to opt out of the season due to COVID-19 concerns, joining Dont’a Hightower, Marcus Cannon, Danny Vitale and Najee Toran. News of all of those decisions broke either Monday night or Tuesday morning. Players who voluntarily opt out will forego their salary and receive a $150,000 stipend, while players who opt out for medical reasons will receive a $350,000 stipend.
Bolden, 30, would have been entering his second season back with the Patriots, after he spent the first six years of his career with the Patriots. He spent the 2018 season with Miami.
Rarely used in the offense (he has 230 rushing yards since 2016), Bolden is a stalwart on special teams, where he was on the field for 71 percent of New England’s snaps last year.
The rash of opt-outs certainly doesn’t make Bill Belichick’s job any easier in 2020, as he tries to navigate the Patriots through what is easily the most challenging offseason in NFL history. But the early decisions give Belichick time to try to fill some roster holes, and gives him some added salary cap space to do so.