According to Ben Volin of the Boston Globe, Boldin and the Patriots had "mutual interest" during the offseason and "he remains intrigued by the possibility." As Volin noted, however, the move remains unlikely because it would require the Bills to release or trade him to the benefit of a division rival.
Boldin, who ranks ninth in NFL history with 1,076 catches in his career, has already had a bizarre summer.
The 36-year-old remained a free agent throughout the offseason before signing with Buffalo on Aug. 7. He appeared in one preseason game and then retired on Aug. 20 after less than two weeks on the roster.
While the Bills had already traded away Sammy Watkins, which signaled to some that they are using 2017 more to retool than contend, Boldin cited his humanitarian work as a reason to leave the game, per Jim Trotter of ESPN.com. He was clear in his decision even when asked if he would return for a contender.
"No. I'm done with the sport of football," Boldin said on Aug. 21, per Ross Tucker of NBC Sports. "My passion is elsewhere."
If Buffalo was to either release or trade him, joining the Patriots would go against his initial statement.
Meanwhile, the Patriots have quality depth at receiver even following the season-ending injury to Julian Edelman. Brandin Cooks was the big addition during the offseason, while Danny Amendola, Malcolm Mitchell and Chris Hogan remain from last year. The team also added Phillip Dorsett in a trade from the Indianapolis Colts on Saturday, per Field Yates of ESPN.com.
The Patriots have enough talent at wide receiver without Boldin to continue to be a top offense.