Patriots' running back corps is truly the Class of '17

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- The details of running back Brandon Bolden's one-year contract with the New England Patriots are in -- it's a pact that includes a $775,000 base salary, $50,000 signing bonus, $30,000 workout bonus and $695,000 salary-cap charge -- and it provides a springboard to highlight one of the unique aspects of the team's running back corps.

This is truly the Class of '17.

In addition to Bolden, running backs James White, Dion Lewis and Rex Burkhead also have contracts that expire after the 2017 season, making them free agents at that time. Second-year player D.J. Foster is the only running back on the roster with a deal that extends past this season; it goes through 2018.

Even if veteran power back LeGarrette Blount ultimately returns, that would likely be on a short-term deal as well.

All of which underscores how running back is likely to be a position the Patriots take a good look at in this year's draft as they add depth on the roster with the future in mind. It's a good year for them to do so, as the rookie class is considered strong.