Saturday, April 27, 2013

Pats acquire tailback Blount, dump Demps in trade


It's nice to have friends in high places.

That's likely what Bill Belichick and Greg Schiano were thinking Saturday during the draft, as the chummy coaches struck a deal to swap the respective thorns in their sides for mutual gain. (Photo: Mark Runyon | Football Schedule)

For Belichick and the New England Patriots, it was the acquisition of Tampa Bay running back LeGarrette Blount. For Schiano and the Bucs, it was the addition of utility man Jeff Demps and a seventh round pick.

This isn't a huge hit or return for either roster. New England was able to offload Demps, who vehemently declared two months ago that he would not give up running track professionally despite his contract with the Pats. Belichick isn't a fan of players who aren't 100 percent committed, and Demps' recovery was still a question mark given his season-ending knee injury last season.

As for Tampa Bay, Schiano had little use for Blount last season once Doug Martin came into the picture, as Martin rushed for more than 1,400 yards in his rookie season last year. Blount only had 41 touches in 2012 and dropped off a bit in 2011 after a stellar rookie season. That's not counting his intermittent behavioral issues throughout his career.

While either player does have the potential to turn things around this season, it will likely be an uphill battle, as both join crowded depth charts at their respective positions. Blount will have a hard time taking over in New England for Stevan Ridley, who rushed for more than 1,200 yards last season, though his opportunity could come as a goal line threat.

Blount recently signed a restricted free agent contract with Tampa Bay for $1.2 million, which the Patriots will now take over. Demps had a three-year, $211,000 contract with New England.

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