The Patriots got a head-start on free agency, according to media reports this Monday, by inking fullback James Develin to a new contract. Develin's deal is said to be for two years and just under $3 million.
Since joining the Patriots in 2012, the former college defensive end has carved out a nice role for himself as a dependable blocker in New England's rushing attack and a sometimes target of QB Tom Brady in the passing game. Recently, his efforts in the backfield helped open up holes for 1,000-yard rusher LeGarrette Blount en route to the Patriots' fifth Super Bowl championship. Brady once called Develin "the best fullback in the NFL."
The 28-year-old Develin was scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent on Thursday before he and the Patriots came to an apparent agreement today.