James Develin’s time with the Patriots looks like it’s going to continue for the next few years.
According to Jeff Howe of The Athletic, the fullback is closing in on a two-year extension with New England. The particulars to Develin’s extension were not immediately disclosed. The 29-year old was set to become a free agent after the 2018 season after wrapping up a two-year, $2.45 million deal he inked prior to the 2017 season.
Develin has had an interesting journey throughout his football career. After going undrafted in 2010, the Brown product made quick stints in the AFL and UFL before signing on with the Bengals practice squad in November of the 2010 season.
After spending two seasons with Cincinnati, the Patriots picked him up and added him to their practice squad in 2012. From there Develin evolved into the team’s starting fullback and has been a part of two Super Bowl championship teams.
Develin has made his bread and butter in the league by plowing the way for other running backs to rack up yards or by helping block for Tom Brady in the passing game, but he’s also been able to put up some stats of his own.
Over the course of 65 games played for the Patriots, Develin’s recorded 19 catches for 161 yards, while also finding pay dirt for a rushing score back in 2013.
Last season, however, could be considered Develin’s best season in the league as he was named to the Pro Bowl for the first time in his career as the starting fullback. He couldn’t play in that game, however, due to New England making it all the way to Super Bowl LII.
Still, it’s an accomplishment that looked to be out of the realm of possibility for the Brown star early on in his NFL career. Following the announcement this year, Belichick credited Develin’s relentless hard work was the reason why he was able to achieve it.
“I think it’s great,” Bill Belichick said last season after the announcement. “Look, nobody has worked hard than James has. He started off on the practice squad, worked his way onto the roster, on and off as an active and inactive player. [He] has the last couple of years fallen into a very consistent and productive role in the kicking game and offensively. His play time has increased. His production has increased.
“As hard as he works in the weight room, on the field, off the field, preparation. I mean, whenever you see James, you see him working. You see him doing extras in the weight room. You see him doing extras on the practice field. You see him in early or late looking at film, going over things. He’s got a role. He’s very good at it. It’s a very important role and so it’s great to see him recognized for it. I’m happy for him. I’m happy for all of the guys that got recognized.”
Now he’ll look to continue that strong play for years to come.