One of the NFL’s premier fullbacks is being rewarded with a new contract.
The New England Patriots are “closing in” on a two-year contract extension with James Develin, a source told Jeff Howe of The Athletic on Thursday.
Develin, who is entering the final season of a two-year, $2.45 million deal, has been with the Patriots since 2012. He missed the entire 2015 season with a broken leg but otherwise has been the picture of durability, playing in all 16 games in 2013, 2014, 2016 and 2017.
“Whenever you see James, you see him working,” Belichick said in December after the Pro Bowl rosters were announced. “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, so it’s great to see him recognized for it. I’m happy for him.”
The Patriots utilize a fullback far more than most NFL teams. Develin’s 346 offensive snaps in 2017 ranked second among all players at his position behind San Francisco’s Kyle Juszczyk, according to Football Outsiders.
Develin will turn 30 on July 26 — the same date the Patriots are likely to hold their first training camp practice.