The New England Patriots will be turning the page at quarterback in the upcoming NFL season.
We now know they’ll be doing so at fullback as well.
James Develin on Monday announced his plan to retire from the NFL after 10 seasons in the league. The 31-year-old cited “unforeseen complications” with the neck injury he sustained last season as the impetus behind his decision to move on from the game.
Develin made the announcement via an Instagram post, which prompted a thoughtful comment from his former quarterback, Tom Brady.
“I was so lucky to share a huddle with you Jimmy!” Brady wrote. “Your heart and soul separated you from the pack. And we are all so proud of you and know you will be great in anything you do!! ????”
An undrafted free agent in 2010, Develin joined the Patriots ahead of the 2012 season before becoming the team’s starting fullback the following year. He won three Super Bowls over the course of his tenure in New England and was selected to the Pro Bowl in 2017.
Jakob Johnson, a product of the league’s International Player Pathway Program, and Dan Vitale now are the only active fullbacks on New England’s roster.