BOSTON (CBS) – The New England Patriots have traded running back Jeff Demps and a seventh round pick to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for running back Legarrette Blount, according to multiple reports.
Demps made it clear this off-season he wanted to remain a two-sport athlete with football and track and field, with track currently his priority. He had two years remaining on the three-year, $1.451 million contract he signed with the Patriots last August.
In Blount, the Patriots get a talented but trouble running back. After going undrafted out of Oregon in 2010, he rushed for 1,007 yards and six touchdowns in 13 games as a rookie in Tampa. He ran for 781 yards and five touchdowns in 2011, but had just 41 carries in 13 games in 2012 as the Bucs turned to rookie back Doug Martin.
If he makes the roster, Blount could give the Patriots a solid goal-line and short distance back.
The 23-year-old Demps was a running back at Florida from 2008-11, but told teams prior to the 2012 NFL Draft he was instead choosing to pursue a track career. At the 2012 Olympic games in London, he ran for the U.S. in the qualifying heat for the 4×100-meter relay, earning a silver medal.
Demps averaged 6.7 yards per carry while scoring 23 rushing touchdowns at Florida. He suffered a leg injury in New England’s final preseason game last year, and spent the entire 2012 season on injured reserve.