BOSTON (CBS) — Several teams reportedly pursued Jeff Demps in free agency, and by the looks of the undrafted rookie’s contract, that appears to be the truth.
According to NFL.com’s Brian McIntyre, Demps’ contract guarantees him $200,000 this season, whether he makes the team or not. Additionally, the Patriots used up just about all of their remaining signing bonus money for undrafted free agents by giving Demps $11,000.
The $211,000 guaranteed to the running back-turned Olympic runner might all but guarantee him a roster spot. That’s significant given that he won’t have much of a chance to prove his value in the next week, and he hasn’t played football since January.
Yet McIntyre’s report notes that the $211,000 guaranteed to Demps is the second-largest sum guaranteed to any undrafted free agent this year, just $3,000 short of the Cowboys’ $214,000 given to Ronald Leary.
McIntyre does not that the high base salary could keep other teams from claiming Demps on waivers if the Patriots try to put him on the practice squad.
If Demps is to make the team, his best opportunity may be as a kick returner. Last year, the team averaged the third-fewest kick return yards in the NFL, and thus far in the preseason, the team has used Shane Vereen, Stevan Ridley, Donte Stallworth, Jeremy Ebert and Danny Woodhead to return kickoffs, though no player has been able to stand out.