|Bodden reflects on free agent frenzy||03.17.10 at 9:09 pm ET|
FOXBORO — The free agent process can be a dizzying whirlwind of crazy contracts, absurd promises and over-the-top ego-stroking. For Leigh Bodden, it was an eye-opening process, one that forced him to make some truly tough decisions for the first time in his career.
Coming off a 2008 season in which he was part of a Detroit team that finished 0-16, the cornerback was a relatively under-the-radar signing in New England, inking a one-year deal with the Patriots. He then had a career year (tying for the team lead in interceptions with five and adding a career-best 17 passes defensed).
In a relatively down year for cornerbacks in the free agent market, Bodden was a hot commodity. Several teams inquired about his status, and he ended up paying a well-publicized visit to Houston before returning to the Patriots.
“It makes you feel good as a player that other teams want you, but ultimately, somebody has to be the team that you pick,” Bodden said Wednesday. “I had to make a tough decision, and I think I made the right decision to stay here and play with New England.”
“I just wanted to be a part of a winner. Early in my career, I wasn’t really part of a winning program. I definitely wanted to be a part of a team like this. I never knew it would be New England, but I’m definitely glad that it is, and I’m just going to continue the journey and hopefully bring some good things later on down the road.”
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