After eight years with the Patriots, James Develin announced on Monday that he would be retiring from football, and while fullback may not be the most glamorous position on the football field, Develin earned the respect of his teammates through his hard work, grit, and support.
In the team's official statement, Bill Belichick showed his appreciation for Develin, who had an unconventional journey to the NFL but took advantage of the opportunity.
"To some people, James Develin may be 'unsung' in terms of publicity and fame, but to his coaches and teammates he is one of the most appreciated and respected players we have ever had. In football, there are a lot of tough, unselfish and dependable people who bring positive leadership on a daily basis, but the name James Develin represents those qualities at an elite level," Belichick said. "A tribute to the impact James had on our success, of the five seasons in which he appeared in every game, we won three championships. Any team would be fortunate to have a James Devlin-'type' on its roster but the reality is he is a rarity and we are very fortunate he was a Patriot."
It didn't take long after Develin made his announcement for love to start pouring in on social media from his former teammates.
On Develin's Instagram several former teammates expressed their gratitude for playing alongside him. Here's what they had to say.
Patrick Chung: You're a Great man, father and husband. Going to miss you on the field. Keep being you and you'll be successful in anything you do my man.
Rex Burkhead: Much luv brother. Amazing career. Such an honor to have taken the field with you. Excited for everything in store for you, @jennydevelin and the kids!
Devin McCourty: From Dev to Dev...thanks for giving everyone in that building everything you had everyday. You showed guys what it meant to work hard in every phase of the game on and off the field. Enjoy every moment of retirement. No one will squat in that first rack as long as I'm still there lol ✊🏿✊🏿✊🏿-Dmac
Jason McCourty: Appreciate you bro! Congrats -Jmac
James White: Glad I got to share the field with you! 💪🏾
Tom Brady: I was so lucky to share a huddle with you Jimmy! Your heart and soul made separated you from the pack. And we are all so proud of you and know you will be great in anything you do!! ❤️❤️
David Andrews: Warrior
Brandon Bolden: It was an honor bro. Going to be missed. Will always appreciate you bro🤟🏾🤟🏾🤟🏾
Chris Long: Wow what a career my dude. Pleasure playing w you. Respect.
Sony Michel: 🙏🏾🙏🏾 THANK YOU
Joe Cardona: Love you Brother! It was an honor and pleasure to be your teammate.
Lawrence Guy: One helluva career bro, your a great example of someone putting in the work on and off the field to achieve his dream and being a great team and person. i wish nothing but the best on your next journey in life 💪🏽💪🏽💪🏽
Deatrich Wise Jr.: Appreciate the energy you brought every. Legendary career. May you continue to have a life full of happiness and positivity!!! 💪🏾💯
Jacob Hollister: Definition of a man with no quit! Love you brother! Learned so much from you
Jonathan Jones: It was a pleasure to take the field with you bro
Matt LaCosse: My guy! Helluva career for a helluva teammate!
Tyler Gaffney: Every champion was one a contender who refused to give up. You are the epitome of that. Congrats champ.
Shane Vereen: Honored to have spent time in the backfield with you Dev!!! Once a lockermate always a lockermate haha...Happy retirement!! 💪🏾 @jdevelin
AJ Derby: Lucky to be your teammate! Congrats on the great career!