BOSTON (CBS) — NFL free agency begins on Thursday, but the Patriots have already taken care of one of their own.

New England has agreed to a two-year contract extension with fullback James Develin, according to The Boston Herald’s Jeff Howe. Develin was set to be a restricted free agent.

Develin, 28, has been with the Patriots since 2012. While he has just one touchdown to his name and rarely shows up on the stat sheet, he has made an impact on the field during his time in New England. A reliable blocker in the running game and contributor on special teams, Develin has often earned the praise of head coach Bill Belichick. He played in all 16 games in 2016, helping Patriots running backs rush for 1,638 yards, and has appeared in every regular season game for New England in three of the last four seasons.

NFL free agency officially gets underway at 4 p.m. on Thursday.


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