FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — Despite being a serviceable running back and a solid special teams player with extensive playoff experience, Brandon Bolden sat on the free agent market for nearly a month waiting to be offered a contract.

Although Bolden waited, he didn’t wonder or worry.

“My daughter was born in the offseason, so I was just kind of focused on being a father and a good husband to my wife,” Bolden said. “Whatever was going to happen was going to happen, so I was just kind of like waiting around.”

Brandon and Arianna Bolden welcomed their daughter, Axelle, on March 11. The former high school sweethearts also have a son, 6-year-old Brycein.

“I got a boy, a girl and dog, so I’m calling it quits,” Bolden said with a smile before leaving the door to his family future ajar. “We’ll see what the wife says.”

As for that contract, the Patriots stepped up April 5 and signed Bolden to a one-year deal worth $855,000 that included a modest $80,000 in bonuses and an opportunity to earn a roster spot in New England for a sixth straight season.

There’s no other place this 27-year-old would rather be.

“I mean, I like it here,” Bolden said. “I’m comfortable here. I’m into the program. … You become part of the program, and it becomes part of you. And being here as long as I have, it’s really a part of me – I’m a testament (to the program).

“It’s a great feeling to be here for so long, to be comfortable and to have … some type of foundation. For the guys that are bouncing around (the league), it’s tough. Everybody finds a home, and I found mine.”

Bolden appeared in 48 games over four seasons for the University of Mississippi and finished his collegiate career ranked second in school history in touchdowns (33), third in all-purpose yards (3,681) and fourth in rushing yards (2,604) before entering the 2012 draft.

But over three days, seven rounds and 253 picks – 19 of which were running backs – Bolden went undrafted. He signed with the Patriots two weeks later and wasted no time making a promise to Coach Bill Belichick.

“I told Bill the first day, ‘If you give me an opportunity, I’m going to run with it, and I doubt you’ll catch me,'” Bolden said. “So he’s still playing chase back there.”

Bolden has appeared in 67 regular-season games and 12 postseason games, including wins over the Seattle Seahawks in Super Bowl XLIX and the Atlanta Falcons in Super Bowl LI.

With the exception of a monster game as a rookie when he shredded the Buffalo Bills for 137 yards on 16 carries, Bolden hasn’t made much of an impact offensively. He checks in with ho-hum career totals of 203 carries, 46 receptions and eight touchdowns.

But Bolden is typically dependable when called upon to play running back, as his career numbers of 4.2 yards per carry and zero fumbles would attest. And he’s a valued contributor on special teams.

That versatility has allowed him to outlast the likes of former backfield mates Stevan Ridley, Shane Vereen and LeGarrette Blount.

“Here we take every phase of the game seriously and I adopted that philosophy myself,” Bolden said. “So every time I’m called to go out, I take it as serious as possible. It’s worked for me in the past. So it’s going to be the same for me whether it’s offense, special teams.”

Bolden has never entered training camp in July as a sure shot to make the 53-man roster come September. This year is no different, and the challenge to survive the cut is arguably as difficult as any time since his rookie year because of the depth in the backfield.

The Patriots added free agents Rex Burkhead and Mike Gillislee and brought back Dion Lewis, James White and D.J. Foster in addition to Bolden. They’re likely to keep five backs, meaning someone has to go.

Bolden will wait and see how it plays out. What he won’t do is wonder or worry.