James Develin opens up on retiring, potentially getting into coaching

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By WEEI 93.7

On Monday, fullback James Develin announced his retirement via Instagram, citing "unforeseen complications" following a neck injury last season.

Speaking on a video conference Tuesday, Develin expanded on the decision.

“My injury last year kind of exposed some things that posed a potentially risky situation continuing to play the game of football," he said. "That really was what led to my decision. I just knew that given all the stuff that we kind of figured out that it was in my and my family’s best interest to no longer play the game.

"It was a tough decision, one that took a lot of emotions and time to kind of talk through with my wife and I, but I am at solace with the decision that it was made with my family’s best interest in mind.”​​​​​​

Develin added: “When I kind of got the news that I had the situation going on that I had, it was a tough pill to swallow because I wasn’t really prepared for it. I had really no prior knowledge of it. The one thing that really shed some clarity in the situation was my wife was there with my daughter. So, it was just an immediate reminder of what is important in life because had they not been there, my sense of manly pride, me trying to be a tough guy, maybe I would have said, ‘I could play through that. I’ll just tough it out.’ But really, it was in the best interest of me, my wife, my three kids. It would be an ignorant thing and a selfish thing to continue to play the game. I did what was best for my family.”

Even after suffering the injury in Week 2 last season, Develin remained around the team and was on the sidelines during games serving in a coach-like capacity. Now that he's retired, he acknowledged it could be something he looks into doing.

“I am considering any kind of possibility that kind of comes my way," he said. "It would be a honor to be able to continue to provide support for the team, albeit in a different way. But, I have an innate sense in me that I have to kind of give back to the game that gave me so much. Any kind of capacity that I can do that in is something I would be interested in doing.”

Develin added: “Like I said before, I have this feeling like I need to give back to the game because it gave me so much. I have been playing for 25 years and I know a lot about the game. I have been through a lot of experiences within the game. I think there’s a certain level of knowledge that I have that I can pass on to the next generation of players, wherever that may be."

Also on the call it was learned that the fullback was named to the Patriots' All-Decade team.

The entire team will be announced Wednesday.