Throughout the years, the Patriots have let go of some talented players, some of which felt like the wrong move. But more often than not, Bill Belichick seemed to know the exact time not to re-sign specific players, even if it was tough to see them leave.
Last offseason, we saw the departure of a handful of productive players head to different teams, much to the fans’ dismay. Although it would’ve been good to see them return to New England for the 2022 season, especially with how the year went for the Patriots, a few did not have an exciting first season with their new team.
Former Patriots that failed with their new teams in 2022
Brandon Bolden – RB
2021 stats w/Patriots: 17 games – 44 carries for 226 yards, TD | 41 receptions for 485 yards, 2 TD
2022 stats w/Raiders: 16 games – 17 carries for 66 yards, 0 TD | 9 receptions for 57 yards, TD
A vital piece of the Patriots offense and special teams for eight seasons, Bolden followed former offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels to his new home with the Las Vegas Raiders. He was the first of many long-time New England players to make the move, but his season didn’t play out like the others.
Following a coach he liked to a team he felt would be a contender is likely the reason behind Bolden’s move. But he was immediately second fiddle to the Raiders’ RB1 Josh Jacobs, who totaled 340 carries for 1,653 yards and 12 touchdowns on the season. Obviously, that limited his availability on the field and his opportunities, leading to a significant drop in production from just a year before.
As both are signed for the upcoming season, it isn’t easy to imagine Bolden’s performance getting much better or seeing a significant jump in snaps. It would be wise for McDaniels to increase his usage, though, to help alleviate Jacobs’ workload and injury risk, considering the incredible discrepancy in numbers between the two players.