With the league's free agency period opening up on Thursday, New England Patriots fullback James Develin was expected to hit the market as an unrestricted free agent.

as the two sides struck a deal to keep Develin in New England for two more years.

The Boston Herald's Jeff Howe broke the news of the new deal first, via his twitter account.

  Develin was back to his reliable form last season, after missing all of the 2015 campaign with a broken leg that he suffered in the preseason. While he hasn't carried the ball much over his time in New England, the Brown product has done his damage working as a lead blocker for the team's other backs.

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