James Develin announced that he is hanging up his cleats this afternoon via a lengthy Instagram post. This announcement doesn’t come as a total shock as Develin sustained a neck injury during week 2 of the 2019 season. Initially, the injury wasn’t serious. However, Develin ended up on the injured reserve and was unable to return to the field.
He thanked “Mr. Kraft, Bill Belichick, and the entire New England Patriots organization for believing in me, and giving me the opportunity to pursue my dream every day for the past 8 years.” Develin stated that he made this decision “due to unforeseen complications with the injury that ended my season last year.” He said that he feels like retirement is in the best interest of him and his family. Develin made sure to let everyone know how he felt about playing in New England stating, “It was my honor and privilege to play for the BEST owner in all of professional sports as well as the BEST coach to ever do it in the game of football.”
— The Checkdown (@thecheckdown) February 4, 2019
Of course, he thanked the fans, too. Develin thanked the fans for taking him and his family in and for the continued support of his team. He made sure to thank his wife, Jenny, for always supporting him, calling her “the strength I need to conquer life.” I got a little misty-eyed at his note to his children. He made a promise to always protect them and be the leader they need, ending with an “I love you.”
James Develin was a true underdog story. He went undrafted in the 2010 NFL draft. In late 2010, Develin was a part of the Cincinnati Bengals’ practice squad. He ended up on the New England practice squad in September of 2012. In November of that season, he worked his way onto the 53-man roster. In 2017, Develin was good enough to take part in the Pro Bowl. He led the way for running back, Sony Michel for the previous few seasons. Develin was an important part of the offense that will be tough to fill, helping the Patriots hoist 3 Lombardi trophies. Only time will tell if Danny Vitale and Jakob Johnson can fill the new hole at fullback.
Congratulations on a stellar career, enjoy retirement!
-Jess Donahue (@jldx392)
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