The Miami Dolphins have been shopping for special teams help since linebacker Mike Hull went down with a knee injury in the preseason and today they found that help by signing former New England Patriots running back Brandon Bolden.
The Dolphins signed Bolden following two days of back and forth negotiation in which the Patriots, who had cut Bolden to reach their 53-man roster limit, made a late push to re-sign the player.
The Dolphins cut center Travis Swanson to make room for Bolden on their roster. Swanson signed 24 hours earlier to be Miami’s backup center. He won’t be that this week.
The Dolphins will go into Sunday’s game against Tennessee with Ted Larsen as their backup center.
Signing Bolden will add a fifth running back to the Miami Dolphins roster. But do not be fooled. This move was made to bolster special teams. Bolden has been a key member of the New England special teams since 2012 when he was drafted out of Mississippi.
In those six years Bolden has rushed a total of 216 times for 912 yards so his role is primarily special teams.
The Patriots cut Bolden two days ago. League sources say the team expected to re-sign him before their season opener. But the Dolphins, seeing an opportunity for the special teams upgrade they wanted, contacted Bolden almost immediately.
When the Patriots learned Bolden was considering the Dolphins, they tried to convince Bolden to return. The Dolphins obviously won that contract battle.
Bolden, 28, was considered a leader in the New England locker room. The Dolphins have been trying to upgrade the character and leadership within their locker room this year.