Don Montague / Zuma Press
NEW YORK CITY—According to a tweet from Shalise Manza-Young of the Boston Globe, the Patriots have traded away Jeff Demps, the football player-turned sprinter and a 7th-round pick (# 229 overall) to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in exchange for running back LeGarrette Blount. Manza-Young tweeted the following earlier this afternoon.
#Patriots have traded Jeff Demps and a 7th round pick to Tampa Bay for LeGarrette Blount (edited for typos)
Blount, a Madison, Fla. native rushed for 151 yards on 41 attempts and accumulated two touchdowns in five appearances for the Buccaneers last year. He played two seasons for the Oregon Ducks, one under now-ESPN analyst Mike Bellotti and one under current Philadelphia Eagles head coach Chip Kelly. His best season came in the 2008 campaign when he rushed for 1,002 yards and 17 touchdowns on 137 attempts.
Before he went to Oregon, he was one of the most sought-after junior college prospects in the country. He was named the nation’s top junior college running back and the # 12 overall prospect in the Rivals.com Junior College Top 100 rankings. Unfortunately, a promising college career was derailed by an unfortunate incident on September 3, 2009 when following a 19-8 loss to Boise State, he punched a Boise State linebacker and then hit teammate Garrett Embry who was trying to restrain him. That incident was just one of several that he was a part of while at Oregon and following his sophomore campaign, he entered the NFL Draft. He was not selected in the draft and as a result, he signed with the Titans as an undrafted free agent before being waived on September 5, 2010. A day later, he was picked up by the Buccaneers, where he was their starting running back until last season’s training camp when Doug Martin was named a starter, leaving Brown to play the backup role.
Demps was an Olympic sprinter before he signed with New England on August 17, 2012. He was expected to be a very key part of the Patriots system due to his speed and versatility . However, in February, Demps announced that he wanted to play football and resume his track career at the same time, which did not sit well with the team. This led to New England shopping him over the last couple days especially, with a report from Jeff Howe of the Boston Herald today saying a trade was “imminent.” It appears that New England was true to their word.
Blount is an excellent third option behind Steven Ridley and Shane Vereen. He has great speed and as we saw with the Buccaneers, can slide into that starting role if need be. This was an excellent move by the Patriots as it provides depth, and that is important if they want to make another Super Bowl run.