It's unclear whether Faulk is destined for playing time in 2011. He was placed on injured reserve after suffering an injury in Week 2 of the 2010 NFL season, and has been primarily a third-down back for the Patriots for much of the last five years; Faulk has not gotten even 150 touches in a season since 2003.
But he could also be a mentor to rookies Shane Vereen and Stevan Ridley, who will likely be the Patriots' one-two punch at running back before long. Faulk has been in New England for the entirety of the Bill Belichick/Tom Brady dynasty, and has the three Super Bowl rings to prove it.
Learning from a player like that might be invaluable for Vereen and Ridley — and Faulk's teaching may have been valuable enough for New England to keep him around in 2011 despite diminishing returns on the field.