Jan 2, 2012; Tallahassee, FL, USA; Florida Gators running back Jeff Demps (28) runs the ball during the second half of the 2012 Gator Bowl against the Ohio State Buckeyes at EverBank Field. Florida won, 24-17. Mandatory Credit: Melina Vastola-US PRESSWIRE

New England Patriots give Jeff Demps $211,000 guaranteed


The New England Patriots did a nice job picking up Olympian and speedy return specialist Jeff Demps, and they are committed to paying him $211,000 in guaranteed money with a $390,000 base salary. Demps was given an $11,000 signing bonus, which is the second-highest for any undrafted free agent. $200,000 of his base salary are guaranteed.

On the surface, it seems like the Pats gave Demps quite a bit of money compared to the rest of the undrafted free agents out there. But here’s the thing, Demps would have been drafted had he elected to go to the draft instead of the Olympics. The Patriots made a significant commitment to Demps, but he would have made at least the same amount of money for a team like the New York Jets or Tampa Bay Buccaneers had they signed him.

It’s a good deal when you look at it, because Jeff Demps has insane speed and can be a high-impact kick-off return for a team that severely lacks one. He’s not going to be a top two-back, but he has good raw ability and did rush for 23 touchdowns as a star for the Florida Gators.

Demps isn’t solely a return specialist, as he was a star RB for a solid SEC program in Florida. A team that was interested said that they were willing to use Demps as a slot receiver from time to time.

Although his roster spot isn’t a guarantee, most of us would be a little bit surprised if Demps doesn’t make the 53-man roster. He will likely be playing against the Bucs on Friday, so we’ll have a better idea of what he brings to the table after that game. It should be interesting to watch Demps play, and the excitement of having a significant upgrade on returns is enticing. Besides, UDFA  offensive lineman Ronald Leary receives more guaranteed money with $214,000 (only person with more than Demps, who would have been drafted).

You can follow Joe Soriano on Twitter @SorianoJoe.

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