New England Patriots starting fullback James Develin has announcement his retirement from the NFL via an Instagram post.
Develin was a pivotal part of the Patriots offense, specifically in their run game. A large part of their success in 2018 on the ground was thanks to Develin, who is one of the best in the league when it comes to creating a lane for the ball carrier behind him.
Last season, Develin was placed on injured reserve in late September because of a neck injury. There was talk all offseason that Develin - at age-31 - could retire due to the severity of his neck injury. That looks now to be true.
The Patriots already have a backup plan in place. They signed former Packers fullback Danny Vitale during free agency. They also drafted tight end Dalton Keene, who is a great blocker and could earn snaps at fullback if need be. But only time will tell if they can play at as high a level as Develin did during his seven-year career with the Patriots.