New England Patriots running back and returner Jeff Demps likely didn’t put himself in the Patriots good graces when he stated he would run track and play football, and the thought of the Pats being upset with Demps’s lack of dedication became stronger when they showed significant interest in return man Josh Cribbs. After the Patriots signed veteran running back and returner Leon Washington from the Seattle Seahawks, it became clear that the Pats would be willing to part ways with Demps.
The Patriots currently have Stevan Ridley, Shane Vereen, Brandon Bolden, Washington, and Demps on the roster, and that would give them one more running back on the roster this year than in 2012 (Demps was on the injured reserve which makes up for Danny Woodhead leaving for the San Diego Chargers). Washington would likely replace Demps, and he was an excellent returner in Seattle. He is also a more known commodity, even if he is older than Demps.
It doesn’t seem like the Pats are willing to simply toss Demps on the scrap heap after investing in the Florida Gators alumn and Olympic track star by giving him a three-year deal with significant bonus money for a UDFA, but Demps’s guaranteed money has already been paid out; they can release Demps without financial penalty.
Since they did invest in Demps and feel like it is possible to get a return on the returner, Jeff Howe of the Boston Herald is reporting that the New England Patriots “have discussed the possibility” of trading Jeff Demps. He is just 23 and has upside so they are doing due diligence by wondering if there is a suitor out there who feels like they can get something out of Demps, but I bet other teams are iffy on Demps due to his desire to run track and play football. Other teams can’t like Demps’s decision either, but there must be some team that is willing to let him do this.
Demps is reportedly prioritizing track over football ahead of the Rio Olympics, so I doubt he would get much in a trade. We’ll see if this news from Howe of the Pats discussing a deal amounts to anything, and the news comes from Demps’s agent Daniel Rose.
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