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Retain, Tag, or Walk? - Brandon Bolden

A look at Miami Dolphins running back Brandon Bolden ahead of free agency.

Jacksonville Jaguars v Miami Dolphins Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images

The NFL calendar continues to march forward, with the Pro Bowl this weekend and the Super Bowl in ten days. That also means free agency - which begins March 13 - is getting a little closer. Teams are looking at themselves right now, trying to decide what direction they want to take in free agency and the NFL Draft for the 2019 league year. Part of those discussions is the fate of the soon-to-be free agents for each team.

Justin Hier and I have been putting together our annual “Retain, Tag, or Walk” series of articles, given you a closer look at the Miami Dolphins players with expiring contracts and giving you a chance to vote on what you would do with that player. Today, we take a look at running back/special teams player Brandon Bolden.

Fact Check

Position: RB
Age: 28 (29 on Saturday)
Experience: Entering 8th season
Height/Weight: 5’11”, 220 lbs
College: Mississippi
Expiring Contract: 1-year, $855,000

2018 Review

Bolden began his 2018 season where he ended every year from 2012 through 2017, on the New England Patriots roster. After signing a one-year contract with New England, he worked his way through training camp and the preseason, only to be one of the final roster cuts as the calendar moved to the regular season. The Dolphins added the running back and special teams player a few days later, using him out of the backfield in limited doses. He did not see his first carry until Week 13 against the Buffalo Bills, with one carry for 10 yards. His Week 14 was his best performance of the year, up against the Patriots, when he carried the ball twice for 60 yards, including a 54-yard rush, with two touchdowns. He finished the year with eight carries for 91 yards and two touchdowns, along with three receptions on three targets for 13 yards and a touchdown.

2019 Outlook

Bolden is not a 20 touch a game type of player, but he is a solid special teams option and provides a spark out of the backfield when needed. He is going to get picked up somewhere and continue to provide that same type of play during 2019. His performance late in 2018 for Miami could signal to teams that he can handle more of a role on offense.


Depth was an issue for Miami this season, and Bolden filled a need nicely. The running back position was not hit by the injury bug as often as other positions, but it did eventually hit Frank Gore. Bolden’s special teams ability plus the spark he provides when needed on offense is something Miami could use - especially with a former New England coach coming to the Dolphins this year.

I will not include the tag option for Bolden, because there is no realistic reason to use a franchise tag on him.

My vote: Retain


Should the Dolphins retain Brandon Bolden or allow him to walk in free agency?

This poll is closed

  • 89%
    (877 votes)
  • 10%
    (102 votes)
979 votes total Vote Now