According to a report from Jeff Howe, the Patriots are set to trade running back and return specialist Jeff Demps.
Update: The Patriots have traded Demps and a 7th Round pick for Bucs RB LaGarrette Blount.
Demps has expressed interest in running track and playing football – something incompatible with how the Patriots run their team. Demps said this in a recent interview:
When asked what he would say to Patriots coach Bill Belichick if he asked Demps how he can handle the obligations of two sports, he replied, “Listen coach, I want to do both, but in order for me to get to where I want to be on the track and field side, it’ll take a full year of preparation. And after the (track) season, if you guys are willing to let me come back, you know, probably midseason, and work out and train and get ready for the season, I’ll be able to do that. If not, then I guess I’ll just focus on running.”
With Leon Washington and Danny Amendola on the roster to give Julian Edelman help in the return game, and Shane Vereen showing that he is a legitimate threat to catch the ball out of the backfield, the Patriots can afford to send Demps out of town.
Blount is a violent runner that brings a lot of power to the table. Where he fits in with Stevan Ridley and Brandon Bolden remains to be seen. I doubt that both Bolden and Blount make the roster. Blount has had some trouble fumbling the ball and has had multiple issues away from the field.