Not many teams use the fullback to a significant level anymore, but the New England Patriots do.
And the Patriots lost their longtime fullback on Monday.
James Develin announces retirement
Develin suffered a neck injury in Week 2 of last season. He went on injured reserve.
In announcing his retirement, Develin cited “unforeseen complications” from the injury.
Develin was used on about 30 percent of the Patriots’ offensive snaps most seasons after becoming their primary fullback. He had just 15 rushing attempts and 31 receptions in all those games he played with New England, but in typical Patriots fashion Develin had a job and did it well.
Patriots’ talent drain continues
The Patriots have lost a lot of key players this offseason. Tom Brady is off to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Kyle Van Noy signed with the Miami Dolphins, Jamie Collins and Duron Harmon landed with the Detroit Lions and Stephen Gostkowski was cut. And after a year off in retirement, Rob Gronkowski came back and was traded to the Buccaneers.
Develin is far from the biggest name on that list, but he was an important cog over most of the decade. The Patriots are going to have to reinvent themselves starting in 2020.
Even at fullback.
More from Yahoo Sports: