Brandon Bolden is returning to the Patriots

  • Brandon Bolden is returning to the Patriots

Brandon Bolden is returning to the Patriots

The Patriots are signing free agent running back Brandon Bolden to a two-year contract, NFL Media's Ian Rapoport reported Wednesday morning. The 26-year-old spent the last three seasons with the Patriots, but struggled to stay on the field due to injuries.

The Dolphins expressed interest in re-signing Bolden, who carried the ball eight times, rushing for 91 yards and scoring two touchdowns last season, but Miami failed to get a deal done.

In an offseason in which numerous former Patriots players and coaches are making the move from New England to Miami, Brandon Bolden is taking the reverse trip. He also rushed for 60 yards that December afternoon. While many expected him to re-sign with the team - as he did when he was cut before the 2017 season - he instead opted to join the division rival Dolphins.

Bolden is boisterous and was a well-liked teammate in New England, where he was signed as an undrafted rookie from Ole Miss in 2012. Over the next four years, he averaged 50-plus carries and nearly 200 yards a season. Bolden's offensive playing time then plummeted in 2016, when he won his second Super Bowl with New England.

As a career special-teams contributor, Bolden totaled 33 tackles, including a half-dozen in Miami, and two forced fumbles.

While the legal tampering window opened on Monday, players can not officially sign with teams until National Football League free agency begins at 4 p.m. on Wednesday.