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Rick Stroud, Greg Auman and Matt Baker

Jeff Demps to pursue football, track with Buccaneers



Jeff Demps wouldn’t have been able to pursue both his passions with the New England Patriots.

But he might get the chance in Tampa Bay, after his acquisition today in a trade with the Buccaneers.

The Olympic silver medalist was packaged in a deal that sent LeGarrette Blount to the Patriots this afternoon, and now feels more optimistic that he can continue his pursuit of a track and field career in addition to playing in the NFL.

“Track and field is not a money thing for Jeff,” said his agent, Daniel Rose. “He just loves track and wants to do it. But Tampa Bay has been great. I think they’re okay with it.”

The Bucs were noncommittal immediately after making the deal, with general manager Mark Dominik saying, “We’ve talked to Jeff a little bit. We understand what he’s doing. We’re just taking (his) rights to see what happens.”

With the track season extending through the summer, Demps might not be in position to compete in much of the Bucs’ offseason program. That was a major sticking point with the Patriots and impacted their decision to part ways.

But with the last major event on the track and field calendar -- the IAAF world championships in Moscow, scheduled for Aug. 10-18 -- it’s conceivable Demps could return to football in time to compete in the NFL regular season.

“I have a good feeling he’ll be in a uniform this year,” Rose said. “Will it be Week 1? I don’t know. But I think he’ll be playing.”

Either way, Demps, a former Gator, has no plans to walk away from track.

“He’s going to finish the track season, and then he wants to go play football,” Rose said.

[Last modified: Saturday, April 27, 2013 5:22pm]


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