Buccaneers RB/KR Jeff Demps to make NFL decision by mid August

Al Messerschmidt

Tampa Bay Bucs' two-sport running back Jeff Demps will inform his new team on whether he will play this year at the conclusion of track season.

Two-sport athlete Jeff Demps will make a decision on his NFL future by mid August, his agent, Daniel Rose of Gridiron Sports, tells SB Nation.

The former University of Florida tailback and return man is currently wrapping up the professional track season in Amsterdam, Netherlands. If he qualifies for an early August event in Moscow, Russia, he would miss the start of training camp with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, assuming he chooses to attend at all. The Bucs were the first NFL team to open camp, rookies reporting on Wednesday, July 17, with veterans to follow one week later on July 24.

"He's had dialogue with Tampa Bay," said Rose, "and they've been supportive of him running track and doing both sports. At the end of the season in the middle of August he'll make a decision; nothing's final yet. Jeff is going to focus on track and then he'll focus on whatever's next."

NFL training camps officially run through Sept. 1, according to the collective bargaining agreement, following the final preseason games on Aug. 29, and the 53-man roster cut deadline on Aug. 31. Given the timetable, there's a chance Demps, should he opt to play, could miss most of the preseason.

Despite a successful four-year career as a Gator, amassing 2,470 yards rushing to go with 23 touchdowns, Demps went undrafted in 2012 after choosing to continue his track career. That decision took him all the way to the Olympics in London, where he won a silver medal as part of the U.S. 4x100-meter relay team. The New England Patriots subsequently won the Demps sweepstakes among a handful of suitors, signing him to a reported three-year, $1.451 million deal last August that included an $11,000 signing bonus and $211,000 guaranteed.

Just two weeks later, after appearing in New England's final two preseason games and informing the team he would simultaneously pursue track, the Pats placed the 5'7, 175-pound speedster on season-ending injured reserve. He had compiled an impressive 6.2 yards per attempt on nine carries, to go along with three receptions for 31 yards and eight returns for 128 yards, but has still yet to appear in a regular-season game. He remains an intriguing prospect, however.

Following a 2013 draft-day trade with the Bucs that shuttled running back LeGarrette Blount off to New England, Tampa Bay -- one of the other teams originally in the running for Demps' services, and the one nearest his home -- continues to wait on his potential. He is currently listed on the Buccaneers' roster and is one of three players without a designated number. With New England, he wore No. 42. At Florida, he wore both Nos. 28 and 2.

"[Tampa Bay] has been on board and very receptive," said Rose. "They are a very modern, cutting-edge franchise, and very open to these types of ideas. If he can come to a team and contribute and do both, it's win-win for everyone. He's going to follow his heart. He's a competitive athlete. He wants to do both; we've said that from the very beginning.

"It's not boxing or MMA, or anything that would injure him," he continued. "He's 23 years old. How can you say he can't do both? You're only this young once."

More from SB Nation:

Bois: Dante Hall and the legend of the human joystick

DeSean Jackson’s rap single -- with our video remix

Romo wants bigger role in Cowboys’ game planning

On Colin Kaepernick, the ESPY’s and the Dolphins cap

’Hard Knocks’ receives long-term renewal

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.