The New England Patriots have agreed to a contract extension with fullback James Develin. News of the two-year extension was first reported by The Athletic’s Jeff Howe. ESPN’s Field Yates has since reported that Develin’s deal is worth $3.8 million with a $600,000 signing bonus. Develin’s contract was set to expire at the end of 2018.
James Develin and the Patriots are closing in on a two-year contract extension, per source.
— Jeff Howe (@jeffphowe) June 14, 2018
James Develin’s two-year extension with the Patriots will be worth $3.8M, with a $600K signing bonus, per source. https://t.co/OotJPShgGE
— Field Yates (@FieldYates) June 14, 2018
James Develin Signs Two-Year Extension
Develin’s path to a career with the Patriots has not been a straightforward one. Entering the realm of professional football in 2010, he spent time with the Oklahoma City Yard Dawgz of the Arena Football League as a defensive lineman. He saw one game with the Yard Dawgz before taking a position with the United Football League’s Florida Tuskers. It was with the Tuskers that Develin made the transition from defensive line to fullback, the position he would remain in to date.
In November of 2010, Develin signed with the Cincinnati Bengals as a member of their practice squad until the 2012 off-season. The Patriots picked Develin up just days after his release from the Bengals, and he was activated to their 53-man roster within a few months. He saw his first NFL snap on special teams against the San Francisco 49ers that following December.
Since the beginning of the 2013 season, Develin has appeared in 49 regular-season games and has made starts in 14 of them. Develin was sidelined for the entirety of the 2015 season with a broken tibia. Although Develin’s contributions in games rarely feature touches, the veteran fullback does have a single career regular-season rushing touchdown and a single postseason receiving touchdown.
In a league that rarely uses fullbacks, he has proven himself valuable enough to lock down a roster spot on one of the top rosters in the league. At the tail end of the 2017 season, Develin was honored as the AFC’s best fullback in the 2018 Pro Bowl. Develin has also appeared in recent years as the emergency fourth option at tight end for the Patriots. His contributions in the run-blocking game are stellar, and this contract should help ease new Patriots running backs Jeremy Hill and Sony Michel into their new roles in New England.