Jeff Demps wants to play for Patriots and run track

Jim O'Connor-US PRESSWIRE

Olympic silver medalist Jeff Demps wants to return to track and field -- while continuing his NFL career with the New England Patriots.

Jeff Demps' NFL career might be as short-lived as one of his Olympic sprinting events.

According to NFL.com's Ian Rapoport, Demps informed New England's staff that he is returning to track and field -- but wants to continue his football career, too.

New England signed Demps as an undrafted free agent last August. Demps received a base salary of $390,000 in 2012 -- $200,000 of which was guaranteed. Demps also received an $11,000 signing bonus.

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In his first preseason game with the Patriots, Demps had three carries for 41 yards, showing electric ability out of the backfield. Demps added a 16-yard punt return, and returned two kickoffs for a combined 44 yards. Demps added another four punt returns against the New York Giants in New England's preseason finale, accumulating 49 yards, while also catching three passes for 31 yards.

Even though they're just preseason numbers, Demps displayed in a very brief period of time that he could be another explosive option for Tom Brady and Bill Belichick -- especially since he had been away from football for an extended period of time. Unfortunately for Demps and the Patriots, Belichick placed the Olympic sprinter on injured reserve following New England's preseason finale against the Giants.

Demps won a silver medal at the 2012 Olympic Games on the USA's 4x100 relay team. Prior to his time as an Olympian, Demps served as a running back and return man for the Florida Gators.

It seems unlikely that the Patriots would allow Demps to continue his track career and football career -- at least while he's with New England. Demps signed a three-year contract in August, and it is unlikely that Belichick and the Patriots would flat out release him, given the investment they made last season. Demps received the second-highest guaranteed total of any undrafted free agent last year.

New England is the same team that refused to release or trade Brian Waters last season, essentially to keep him from playing for the Houston Texans. So for now, it doesn't appear that Belichick and the Patriots would flat out release Demps -- and it also seems unlikely that they'd allow a player to participate in another sport while under contract.

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Tom Brady's new deal includes $30 million signing bonus

Who will trade for Alex Smith?

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