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Patriots trade Demps to Tampa for Blount
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After reports surfaced just hours ago that the Patriots were attempting to deal Jeff Demps, Bill Belichick was able to pull off a deal that sends the track star to Tampa Bay along with a seventh-round pick (229 overall) in exchange for running back LeGarrette Blount, according to various reports.
The Patriots won a minor bidding war for Demps' services last summer when the former Florida Gator returned from the London Olympics, where he was part of the silver-medal-winning U.S. 4 x 100 relay team. He took part in the team's last two preseason games but injured a knee in the finale against the Giants and spent his rookie season on injured reserve.
Earlier this offseason reports indicated that Demps still wished to pursue his track care and his intent was to keep participating in both sports. Evidently this didn't sit well with Belichick – and rightly so considering the year the team put into developing such a raw talent.
Now he's a Buc while Blount, a huge power back who has struggled recently both in terms of production and holding onto the ball, will head to New England.
Perhaps Demps caught the eye of Tampa coach Greg Schiano when the teams held joint practices prior to their preseason meeting at Raymond James Stadium last summer. Demps flashed in that game just days after inking a deal with New England, and he'll likely get a chance to keep participating in both sports while in Florida.
Blount is entering his fourth season after coming out of Oregon in 2010. He had a successful rookie year, piling up 1,007 yards and six touchdowns for the Bucs while averaging 5 yards a carry. He had another solid year in 2011 with 781 yards and five touchdowns (4.2-yard average) but fell off dramatically a year ago.
Having been shoved to the bench following the arrival of Doug Martin, Blount picked up just 151 yards on 41 carries and scored twice. Martin's emergence made him expendable and perhaps he can carve a niche as a goal line back with the Patriots, who already have Stevan Ridley, Shane Vereen, Brandon Bolden and Leon Washington in the backfield.