UPDATE, 4:21 p.m.: The Patriots have indeed traded running back/kick returner Jeff Demps. They dealt the world-class sprinter, plus a seventh-round draft pick, No. 229 overall, to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for running back LeGarrette Blount.
FOXBORO – Trade winds are blowing around Jeff Demps on this final day of the 2013 NFL Draft.
The Patriots are getting interest from teams hoping to deal for the former Florida running back/return man, according to Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network. Demps declared this offseason he wants to run track and fit some football in on the side.
In late March, Demps told a Florida radio show that his pitch to Bill Belichick would be, “In order for me to get where I want on the track and field side, it’ll take a full year of prep. After the season if you guys are willing to let me come back midseason, I’ll be able to do that. If not, I guess I’ll just focus on running.”
Demps signed a three-year contract with the Patriots last August after competing for Team USA in the London Olympics as a sprinter. His base salary in 2012 was $390K. His base in 2013 is set to be $405K. His signing bonus was a modest $11K.
When Demps was injured in the final preseason game against the Giants, the Patriots put him on injured reserve. While Demps’ injury was not season-ending, his lack of training camp participation made the IR move a fortuitous move for New England in that it gave them a redshirt season in which they could prep Demps for 2013.