Pats’ stashing of Jeff Demps is suspicious, but don’t count on anything happening

We saw it coming.  Pretty much everyone who pays close attention to the NFL saw it coming.

The Patriots signed a sprinter after the Olympics, three weeks into training camp.  And Jeff Demps chose the Pats over the Buccaneers, citing the family-based environment in New England.

With limited time to get him ready to contribute as a rookie, the Patriots had a decision to make.  Would they carry on the 53-man roster someone who wasn’t ready?  Or would they cut Demps and hope that neither the Bucs nor anyone else would try to break up the family by making a waivers claim before Demps could be added to the practice squad?

Faced with those options, Door Number 3 became the choice to which cynics pointed:  Injured reserve.  That way, the Pats could squat on Demps for the season, and spend all of the 2013 offseason getting him ready to contribute.

When Demps was injured in the preseason finale, the handwriting was on the wall.  Even with a precautionary MRI that reportedly showed Demp was fine, he landed on injured reserve, done for the season.

Since the player undoubtedly won’t complain, there’s not much that can happen — even if his injury isn’t a season-long problem or if he’s not really even injured at all.  The league could investigate, giving Demps an independent physical.  As we understand it, that rarely happens.

And before anyone cries “no harm, no foul” because the player wants to stay in New England, keep one important point in mind.  Jake Ballard also wanted to be in New York.  But the Giants exposed him to waivers during the season, and the Patriots snatched him.

If Demps truly doesn’t have a season-ending injury, someone else should have had a chance to snatch him, too.  Or the Patriots should have been required to keep him on the 53-man roster to keep that from happening.

86 responses to “Pats’ stashing of Jeff Demps is suspicious, but don’t count on anything happening

  1. Desperate for web hits? Now rehashing your own stories. Pathetic. You’re not even trying anymore, Florio.

  2. What? Belichck operating outside the rules? Stunning. And the NFL going to ignore it? Even more stunning.

    Good thing Demps didn’t sign with the Saints under the same circumstances.

  3. and let it begin…..

    grrrrrrrrrr….oh those nasty Patriots and Bill Belichick they really get me steamed!….grrrrrrrrrrr….

  4. I take it you’ve seen the MRI’s then? Because you could write this story about any player on IR, yet you’ve chosen to write 3 on Jeff Demps. Did you see the game? It was a real injury.

  5. Injuries significant enough to land a player on IR should be confirmed by a league-appointed physician. That would – or should – eliminate player stashing. But try to get anyone to agree to that.

  6. This is why the NFL needs a minor league for players. The NCAA is a de facto minor league but what happens when their eligibility runs out?

  7. Remember- there is the new IR rule this year. Maybe they are looking at bringing him back in season…seems like he is a perfect candidate for that.

  8. Mike – Why do you say Demps is done for the season when he could designated for return, or did you miss the new change to the IR rules?

  9. The Giants chose to expose Ballard to waivers. They could have held on to him long enough to stash him on IR and chose not to. I find it odd that you left that out, considering you have reported on it before.

  10. They are not operating outside the rules. The rules allow this. That’s why the NFL won’t be doing anything… this would be a never ending exercise.

  11. By the reaction of the basement dwellers on this thread, there are about 20 fan bases who wanted Demps on their teams as well. Sucks to be you, Pats-haters. “MOM – BRING ME ANOTHER GRILLED CHEESE SANDWICH!!! BELICHICK IS CHEATING!!!”


  12. I will scan the archives to see if a similar story was done on Eric Shelton circa 2005. That was most definitely an IR redshirt stash done by the Panthers who DID NOT have BB as a HC.

  13. Goodell should punish the Patriots. I suggest:

    Two 2nd round draft pics
    Floyd Rees – 8 games
    Bill Belichick – a year
    Ivan Fears – 6 games
    Danny Woodhead – a year
    Stevan Ridley – 4 games
    Shane Vereen – 3 games
    Kevin Faulk – 8 games

  14. They cant bring him back because he didnt make the original 53 man roster.

    This article is a joke. There are no rules against this whatsoever. Do you have to have a torn ACL or broken leg to be put on IR? No. IR isnt for people who are automatically out for the season. Take for instance Koppen last yr, broken ankle in game 1 and the Pats held out hope that hed come back so they initially didnt IR him, eventually that extra roster spot became too valuable and they had to place him on IR, even though he couldve came back late season/playoffs.

    As for Demps, hes hurt now, hes going to be a stud but right now the Pats need the roster spot. IR is a great move. Its not bending the rules or “stashing” its recognizing talent and making sure you dont lose it. Plus I’m sure Demps had an idea it was coming.

    All you haters are just mad the Pats are playing chess while your teams are playing Checkers.

  15. For those of you saying this is for the new IR designation, you are wrong.

    For a player to get that designation, the injury MUST keep the player our of practice for at least 6 weeks, and the player MUST be on the 53 man roster until Tuesday when they can designate the player.

    Please understand the rules before you make comments about them.

  16. Why should the Pats be allowed to circumvent the rules? The league should look into the situation and if Demps is healthy the Pats should loose a draft pick and the player should be put back on waivers. End of story.

  17. I don’t see the cheating here. So what he signed an olympic sprinter..doesn’t mean he’s any good. I’m sure if they did that for some no name long shot offensive lineman it wouldn’t be a story nor an issue. Some of you DB’s need to get over it. Does a fourth string RB/KR really affect your teams chances of Superbowl?

  18. Dear patriots fan,

    Your team/franchise was seeded on a bogus call (tuck rule) and now is firmly rooted in cheating (spygate, Roger burned all evidence to help his buddy Kraft). Yes, other teams do this, but the patriots are one of the only teams (giants, steelers as well) that can do whatever they want, whenever they want.

  19. As I said yesterday, some idiot in the press who has no actual knowledge of the injury, has not seen the xrays and mri says he wasn’t injured badly and the sheep follow saying baaaaaad baaaaaad Patriots

    If this was any other team you wouldn’t be saying a word about this. The double standard reporting you do disqualifies what you have to say as invalid.

  20. This happens all the time for teams. It’s allowed by the rules and teams (and players) take advantage of it. You don’t like it, too bad. That’s your problem, Florio. Suck it up.

  21. Please do not use the Ballard situation. Not the same thing, Giants chose to waiver Ballard to put on IR. They could have and should have held on to him until the 75 person roster cut down and put him on the IR then. But they were so intent on having that 90 roster limit and not 89.

    Like someone said this happens all the time and if you don’t think it does you kidding yourself. Also if these teams wanted Demps so bad why DIDN’T they draft him?

  22. Demps is going to get paid by the Patriots and the Giants didn’t want to pay Ballard. Isn’t that the real reason why both players will be on the Patriots in 2013?

  23. So it looks like only the Patriots can operate outside of the rules. The Cowboys & Redskins get fined for exceeding a non existent salary cap. The Saints get whacked for bounties. The Patriots get caught illegally filming games and practices and what do they get; losing a draft pick when they have multiple for that round & their HC gets a fine then an immediate raise equal to the fine. Why does Goodell and Co. have such a soft spot for the Patriots?

  24. The comparison of Demps to Ballard is apples and oranges. The NYG waived Ballard the Pats didn’t waive Demps.

  25. dryheaveone says:
    Sep 2, 2012 10:37 AM
    people are still CLUELESS about the new IR rule…and I’m sick of explaining it
    The rule is irrelevant here. Being on IR, he won’t be able to practice with the team and get into football shape and learn what he needs to learn. He needs this year to get ready for training camp. Surely you aren’t naive enough to think he’s really that badly injured.

  26. Belicheat doesn’t want the Jets, Miami and the Bills to know how Speedy Gonzales runs. First he sends people to spy on teams NE plays against. He has to cheat in order to win games. Tebow will inform the Jets on how this Speedy Gonzales runs. He should have gone to the Jets, because the defense going to stop this Speedy Gonzales unworth butt.

  27. There are entirely too many lists in the NFL that do the same thing. The PUP list, the IR list, the non-football-related injury list, the practice squad, etc. They are all there to stash players. There should be just one list and it should be for all of them and it should be limited to a certain number. End these silly games and their tortured justifications.

  28. The Pats are the USC of the NFL.

    Successful programs that feel a sense of entitlement allowing them to chose the rules they wish to follow.

    There is also the fact that both are proven to cheat any time they think no one is looking.

  29. Clearly the Pats are cheating. It’s obvious from this definitive proof…

    “Running back Jeff Demps tweaked something in his leg late against the Giants, but he is fine after having a precautionary MRI, according to a source.”

  30. Goodell should punish the Patriots. I suggest:

    Tum Birdy (Tom Brady) one year. He’ll be downing lots of tums when the Jets gets through with him.

  31. Isn’t this the point of IR? Isn’t IR specifically designed to keep a player the team doesn’t want to cut and is willing to pay for the year so that they can come back healthy and ready to play the next year? So… If it happens to a starter it’s legit but if it happens to a 5th string RB it’s shady?

  32. Patriot fans in full defense : Nothing to see here. Move along.
    Non-Pats fans : Once a cheater, always a cheater. They get away with everything!

    Reality is probably in the middle. The Pats didn’t break any “rules”.That much is true. What is questionable is, did they violate the spirit of fair play and the intent of IR? If you are a Pats fan and threw the Redskins and Cowboys to the wolves for reportedly violating the spirit of fair play but don’t hold the Pats similarly accountable, then you are a hypocrite and show your true colors.

  33. Here we go, hearing the annual howls of the self-appointed IR police.

    “…keep one important thing in mind”? Really? Why don’t you keep this in mind: that if the Giants wanted no chance of losing Ballard to another team, then they should not have placed him on waivers. Instead, they should have placed him on IR.

    If Ballard has a gripe, then it is with the Giants organization, which completely mishandled and miscalculated the entire situation. Here’s a little helpful hint to any team: If you want to keep a valuable player on your roster, then do not place him on waivers.

    Now there’s something worthy of keeping in mind.

  34. I’m glad Mike is of the Patriot bandwagon and now willing to comment on Belichicks questionable moves. The fact that Ballard is a Patriot at all is due to Belichick claiming him off waivers when every GM in the NFL knew he was headed to Giants IR. He was placed on waivers just so he didn’t count toward the 90 man camp limit. Belichick broke an unwritten ‘gentlemans agreement’ to allow the Giants to process Ballard through waivers to their IR. Clever move by Belichick? More like ruthless, because Ballard wanted to stay with the Giants, the Giants wanted him to, and they were merely going through a technicality process that Belichick intercepted.

  35. One of the (many) bennies to being a Pats’ fan (like moi) is that not only do you get to be BOTH arrogant and obnoxious year after year because your team is so GOOD year after year, but when the evil genius Bill “Snidely Whiplash” Belichick pulls another one of his moves so sneaky that even Mike ‘the supreme moral arbiter’ Florio gets upset – and this is a week before the season even opens – the haters go bonkers – and this is (as I said) a week before the season opens.

    “Haters go bonkers’ – I like the sound of that phrase. I’ll use it a lot this season so I’ll just shorten it to “hgb’ to save space.

    Try this one, haters – “The rich get richer because they’re SMARTER.”

  36. Once again so many people hating on the pats for bringing in productive UNDRAFTED FREE AGENTS. If a team wanted him they could of picked him in the later rounds along with accepting his Olympic bid. For those giant fans get over Ballard if he was that valuable he would never been waived pats are just smarter than waiver good players oh wait they did with branch Hoyer and Koppen. Pats nation all day!

  37. Hootertag, No such thing as unwritten rules. If the Giants wanted to keep Ballard they had option othr than waiving him, here they are

    1. Keep him on the roster. First day of camp PUP(like the Pats did)

    2. PUP him till week 6, see if he can practice if not IR him.

    3. Keep him on PUP till 75 roster cut down day then IR without waivers.

    4. Keep him on PUP till 53 man roster then IR him.

    5. Do the stupid thing and waive him mid offseason.

    Now if you say the Giants needed the roster spot, well that is crap you carry 90 players for 90% of the time. He could have filled one spot without issue.

  38. Really mullman76, stop crying. I hate the pats as much as the next guy, but to say the giants and steelers get away with whatever they want is bogus. Did you not see the witch hunt goodell put out on steelers players last year? If you only watch highlight reels of steelers game you need not comment. Personal foul calls were obviously over called on pittsburgh to make an example of rogers new BS safety campaign. Some examples? Nagta breaking Bens nose. (second blow to the qbs head not called in that series), flags being thrown before contact. Yea that happened twice. Massaquio ducked, god I could go on. Watch the tape stop listening to the NFL paid talking heads and form your own oppinions for once.

  39. As I am reading this article to my husband, and complaining that Demps needed released so they could have done to them what they did to Jake Ballard and the Giants, I get to the end and they say the same thing! As stated, do we expect anything to happen? The Pats get away with cheating all the time. Well….we should. Status quo does not make it right. If Goodell is going to be the commissioner, be the commissioner! Don’t let someone off easy because that is where your bread is buttered! Man Up Roger! Let’s see a fine and suspensions for the Pats circumventing the process!

  40. Footballchic777, what did the Pats do that is cheating? Does anyone on here no for a fact that Demps is not injured? The Giants are the ones who screwed up the Ballard thing.

  41. BTW Footballchic7 if the Pats had waived Demps he would never had made it to the Giants another of the 30 teams ahead of them would have claimed him before the Giants could.

  42. Who cares anyway? If Demps had proven anything on the Field it would matter. Being Fast is only one part of the equation, just ask Clyde Gates… One of the fastest players in the previous Draft and he couldn’t even make the Dolphins WR Corps. That is as sad as it gets and I am a lifelong Fins Fan. Demps was marginal at best at UF. He averaged under 600 yards a season and is not even 5’7″.

  43. For the love of God people no one can really be this stupid right? Any team can put any injured player on IR that they so choose, providing the injury is expected to last at least 6 weeks. (The grey area of course is how can anyone really diagnose an exact recovery time for an injury?) Need evidence of this? Fine look at the New York Giants back in 2010. They put Victor Cruz on season ending IR after he suffered a very questionable hamstring injury in sprints, the very week he said himself he would be back in action. Anyone remember that? There was nothing wrong with that move and there is nothing wrong with this. I understand that Florio has to drive up hits so he’ll start a lynching, but come on people lets not be herded like cattle towards stupidity. If the Giants/Pats/or any other team are willing to pay a player to sit out a year (basically red-shirt him) then that is their choice.

    @footballchic777 if that is really how you think football works then you need to study the game a bit more. The Ballard move and Demps move are polar opposite situations. The Giants were greedy in thinking that they could sneak a solid young player like Ballard through waivers, just because he was due to miss the season. If they had simply waited until this week (and admittedly wasted a roster spot on him until this point) they could have shelved him for the year. They rolled the dice that no other team would be interested and they were wrong. Simple as that. No wrong doing on either side. A coach as intelligent as Coughlin should have foreseen the distinct possibility of losing Ballard and just carried him on the 90 and 75 man rosters.

  44. How dare Demps actually pick which team he wants to play for?

    Looks folks. This kid hasn’t played football in awhile. He needs time to learn and develop. IR is the best thing for his ling term career right now and he knows it.

    Forcing him to be on waivers and have a team that isn’t going to look out for his long term interests like the Patriots are, is not in his best interest.

    Demps is only on IR for the Patriots if he wants to be there. And it’s very clear that he does, so ease up on the kid… Give him a year to develop.

  45. If there is a team that doesn’t stash players on IR, they’re idiots. The Raiders put a punter on IR, and while I’m sure it has nothing to do with Lechler being in the last year of his contract and Oakland being tight against the cap next year, that punter is probably healthy enough to play this season. He’s just red-shirting.

  46. [Looks folks. This kid hasn’t played football in awhile. He needs time to learn and develop. IR is the best thing for his ling term career right now and he knows it]

    Its straight WRONG to stash players on IR. THATS What this is. Demps is NOT hurt thats the point. MRI negative. If he had a 4 week injury I wouldnt care. But what your talking about is why their is a PRACTICE SQUAD!

    The Jets lost Terrance Ganneway to trying to stash him on the Practice Squad. What if they spoke to him and said fake an injury on this play, cause we need a timeout or something maybe idk. Then never got a full injury report and just stashed him. I am not saying PATS did that, but that could be assumed since DEMPS IS NOT HURT.

    Lastly the kid played college football so its not like being a sprinter is all he can do. Its not like he is someone that never played the game, so it is definitely concerning! Breaking rules is breaking rules end of story. I rarely see a non injured player being stashed on IR. I continually see teams try to stash good players on IR to lose them!

  47. Operating outside the rules is how they roll in NE, and it works! I hate the pats, but still envy their football prowess…wish the fins would take some notes! But for now we will just take their cuts.

  48. I’m confused, if a player is injured, and clearly demos left the last preseason game after suffering an injury, then don’t the patriots have the right to put him on injured reserve? There isn’t any stipulation that the player needs to have torn a ligament or have a broken bone.

    For a sport that has a lot of injuries, their very restrictive in what a team can do with them

  49. “I take it you’ve seen the MRI’s then?”

    Don’t need to. The team has already said they were negative.

  50. I’d just like to follow-up on this post where 80+ Pats haters decried the evil team for stashing Demps. Did anyone care to notice that since this article broke, Belichick confirmed that Demps WILL NOT PLAY this year? No update on the original article either. Thus far the Pats have been guilty five years ago of taping opponents signals that are visible to everyone in the stadium and okay to steal by simply writing them down on a piece of paper. Nothing else. Incredible how success is hated.

  51. Demps is no good: if he was he’d be on the roster and playing this week. Pats are wildly overrated this year, that’s a nine win roster of I’ve ever seen one. The “run” is over, Pats fans, nothing left but the memories now.

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