Track is a priority, football a hobby for Jeff Demps


When Bo Jackson announced in 1987 that he was going to play running back for the Los Angeles Raiders after finishing his season as an outfielder for the Kansas City Royals, he referred to baseball as his priority and football as his hobby. Jeff Demps would like to take a similar approach.

Demps, the former Florida running back who left football to focus on track and field, then signed with the Patriots after last year’s Olympics, says he’d like to offer Patriots coach Bill Belichick an arrangement in which Demps will spend the next six or seven months focusing full-time on track, then join the Patriots in the middle of the regular season.

“Listen coach, I want to do both but in order for me to get where I want to be on the track and field side, it will take a full year of preparation, and after the [track] season, if you guys are willing to let me come back probably midseason and work out and train and get ready for the season I’ll be able to do that, but if not then I guess I’ll focus on running,” Demps said he would tell Belichick when asked about his relationship with the Patriots in an interview with Sports Talk Florida.

There are two problems for Demps if he wants to be the next Bo Jackson: First, the NFL has changed a lot in the quarter century since Jackson debuted for the Raiders, and it’s not as feasible that a player could play part-time. And second, Demps isn’t as good a football player as Jackson and won’t be able to just step onto the field and have an instant impact on the NFL.

In other words, it seems highly unlikely that this is going to work. If track is Demps’s first sport, it’s probably going to be his only sport.

50 responses to “Track is a priority, football a hobby for Jeff Demps

  1. So you haven’t proven anything on a football field, yet you think you should be allowed to join the team halfway through the season? Good luck with that.

  2. guess what track isn’t going to pay the bills like football would. Well that is if he was good at football. A no named college RB trying to make an arrangement with the best coach in the league who can find productive talent under a rock? Yeah this guy will be with the Raiders come next year.

  3. Money down the drain. Guess that Florida education did not help much. He could have been a Percy Harvin type with his wheels.

  4. I think “hobby” is even generous for a guy with 9 career carries…all in the preseason. Every NFL team has about 30-50 guys in training camp who also consider football a hobby…..then they go back to their big boy jobs in September.

  5. I’d take him odds are he will always be one of the fastest players on the field at any given moment. I know they have Amendola but hes not Welker so who knows how secure the slot position will be around late October. Pushing for a playoff spot with a 100% fit essentially healthy player if the Pats don’t want him release him someone will need that kind of player around that time.

  6. Oh yes, and coach Belichick is famous for catering to selfish and unreasonable requests/demands, especially for players who haven’t actually accomplished anything.
    Good luck, don’t let the door hit your olypic tatoo on the way out.

  7. The Patriots were smart to sign Leon Washington.I’ll take the wait and see approach and see what BB thinks about this arrangement.

    On the flip side, he could bring a fresh set of legs mid season depending on injuries etc.

  8. Lets face it…Demps would rather get hit by a baton and finish line tape than a 6’3″ 225 lb DB or LB. Makes since RUN JEFFREY RUN!!!

  9. Last year all we heard from Patriots fans is “the rich get richer” when it came to Demps. Now he’s just another never-was running back, according to Patriots fans. LOL

    And why are you all talking about Demps turning down money? What does a no-name RB in the NFL make nowadays? What does a household RB in the NFL make nowadays?

    Maybe he’ll make 1.5m over the next three years?

    Stick to track. There’s no money in the RB business unless you’re a once in a life time guy like AP.

  10. Good for him. He laid out what he was willing to do, and if the Pats don’t want, then he’s fine staying with track. He’s living his life the way he sees fit.

  11. I fully expect Belichick to say “So be it” then start shooting lightning out of his fingertips.

  12. This guy is a douche. Wasn’t singing this tune when he signed a three year deal and pocketed about a half-million bucks last year on IR.

    Got his money to pay the bills and now it’s onto track.

    Dude, you ain’t living up to your first NFL agreement….why would a team think you would be there for them “mid-season”?

    Get outta here!

  13. On the one hand, I applaud Demps for making a choice. He clearly has a passion for track and is pursuing it. Bravo!

    On the other hand, I wonder if the guy is really a flake.

    What kind of commitment he make to the Patriots when he signed with them? Did he assure Belichick he wanted to be a football player and now has changed his mind?

    The Pats placed him on IR during the preseason.My impression was that they were effectively red-shirting him to give him a year to get football-ready. That showed some commitment from the team to him.

    What happened after he went on IR? Was he working on getting bigger and stronger? What kind of compensation did he receive while on IR?

    From a Pats fan perspective I think this is good news. We know he is not committed to football or the Patriots, so the now knows that it should not count on Demps.

  14. Follow his dreams? He didn’t start doing that until after he signed his contract.

    Drop the feel-good nonsense. This guy comes across as yet another spoiled, entitled athlete. If he wants to run track, great, but don’t act like you can just show up halfway through the season.

    If I told my boss I’d be out for a few months because I like fishing more than programming, he’d fire me on the spot.

  15. Why is this guy mentioned in the same breath as Bo?

    Seems to me Bo won the Heisman for football. Demps, well..

  16. I knew all of the comments were coming from the Football-Is-The-Only-Sport-In-The-World people about how Demps is throwing everything away by turning his back on football as his full time sport.

    If he has a successful track career, he will make more money than 90-95% of NFL running backs will ever see. Even top 10 RB’s are having trouble cashing in anymore, and he ain’t that.

    And as for his playing half a season, what’s wrong with that? No harm in asking. I’m sure he knows it’s a long shot, but you’ll never know unless you try.

  17. Your football hobby is going to be just like mine. Watching it on TV on Sunday afternoons

  18. Stick with track. The USA needs good sprinters on the international level. We’re getting our butts handed to us by the Jamaicans. In football, he’s just another scrub who would be used in gimmick plays.

  19. Hey follow your heart kid. If that’s what he wants then who could blame him?

    Other than his offspring.

  20. I agree that this will not fly with Belichick. But, Demps will have an NFL job because some crappy team looking for some publicity will go along. And if all Demps does is return kicks at first, then this could be feasible.

  21. Jackson was also a former number 1 overall draft pick by the Bucs before the Raiders took him in the later rounds the following year.

  22. Will he have to return his signing bonus if he quits or doesn’t show up at training camp?

  23. I’ve read that the Pats are not answering calls from his agent (according to his agent). Not exactly a good way to foster a compromise by the agent.
    Too bad, the kid looked like he could be a really exciting player in the brief time he was out there. Better the Pats know this now than after a majority of FA and the draft .

  24. Robert Kraft should look into putting the New England Patriots logo on Demps’ practice jersey, considering he’s sponsoring his training to the tune of $400K

  25. I never gave 2 cents about this guy joining the Patriots other than the fact that he would be another cheat-code like player in Madden because of his crazy speed/agility.

    But in real life? Who cares?

  26. benroethlisberger7 says:
    Mar 25, 2013 10:21 AM
    Laughable to compare this clown to Bo Jackson.

    What’s laughable is the fact that you look up to a proven meathead that rapes college girls in the bathroom while his entourage stands guard at the door.

  27. I’m gonna go out on a limb here and say that the Pats won’t holding a locker space for him much longer once that quote gets out.

    For his sake I hope he gets picked up by a team mid-season.

    For my own satisfaction, I hope that team plays the Patriots late in the year and 55, 54, and 51 show him what full time football players do to part timers that come across the middle of the field.

  28. He just likes to stick it in Bill’s face every once in a while.

    Yeah I somehow doubt the phone call is gonna go down as transcripted.

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