Olympic sprinter Jeff Demps still planning to join Bucs
Running back and Olympic sprinter Jeff Demps still has designs on playing for the Bucs, his agent said.
Demps, preparing to compete in Amsterdam, hopes to join the Bucs in the coming weeks depending on his track and field schedule. Currently, Demps is awaiting a decision by Team USA, which could ask Demps to run as a member of its 4x100-meter relay team at the IAAF World Championships in Moscow next month, agent Daniel Rose said. The event runs from Aug. 10-18.
“Jeff is the kind of guy who sees things through to the end,” Rose said of his client, a former University of Florida player who was traded to the Bucs in April. “And right now, he’s running track. But we’ll see what happens. He’s in great shape. He works out five hours a day. He’s being brought in for his speed, and we know he can run.”
While Demps has been away from the football field for months, Rose correctly pointed out Demps signed with the Patriots and played in preseason games mere weeks after competing in the London Olympics last year.
With players reporting to Tampa for training camp on Wednesday, Demps is sure to miss at least the start of camp. But his apparent timetable would still free him up to join the Bucs well before the start of the regular season.
The Bucs made no promises to Demps after acquiring him in the LeGarrette Blount trade with New England, but general manager Mark Dominik and coach Greg Schiano are intrigued and have had regular dialogue with him. Rose said the team has even taken a keen interest in how Demps has fared on the track during frequent conversations between the sides.
The Bucs made a concerted effort to sign Demps after he announced his intentions to play football after returning from London. Ultimately, New England’s offer proved more attractive.
But after spending last season on injured reserve, Demps told team officials he wanted to spend the offseason pursuing his track ambitions, something the Patriots weren’t willing to accommodate.
The Bucs, so far, have kept a collective open mind about things and Demps joining the team remains a distinct possibility.
“We don’t think it’s any kind of special treatment,” Rose said. “Jeff is actually a team-first guy.”