New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick confirmed to the Boston Herald that running back and explosive returner Jeff Demps is indeed out for the season after being placed on the injured reserve. Before you say “Well, what did you expect? They put him on the IR!”, teams can place players under the short-term IR under the new rules regarding the injured reserve. Each team can take bring back one player off of the injured reserve, as long as they designate that player.
This is, of course, no surprise and is merely just confirmation from Belichick that the raw undrafted free agent is going to sit out the year to learn the ropes in a redshirt freshman season for the former Florida Gators star and London Olympian. Demps has insane speed and will be a huge upgrade for the Patriots return game in the future, and the Pats did a nice job by adding him in the sweepstakes. Demps was given a three-year deal with $211,000 in guaranteed money.
Belichick also talked to the Boston Herald about newly acquired wide receiver Greg Salas. The general thought is that offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels pretty much said to Belichick, “Hey, I coached this Salas guy last year in St. Louis. He’s really good, we should trade for him.”
While the McDaniels connection likely played a role in the acquisition of Salas and Belichick respects his OC, the head coach also said that the Patriots were already familiar with Salas’s ability coming out of Hawaii.
“It helps when Josh has some firsthand experience with the player, no question. But we scouted him coming out of Hawaii and last year,” said Belichick. “We had a good feel for him before Josh was here just based on our scouting department and working out and getting ready for the draft and all that.”
Salas has transitioned from the slot to the outside and looked good in the offseason physically, but he had a harder time picking up Brian Schottenheimer’s offense with the Rams and was thus traded after being in a heated competition at wide receiver. This was a great buy-low trade for the Pats, who receive a quick, versatile wideout with upside.
You can follow Joe Soriano on Twitter @SorianoJoe.