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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.

‘€œIt 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. ‘€œI had to make a tough decision, and I think I made the right decision to stay here and play with New England.’€

‘€œI 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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