Herald – Patriots running back Jeff Demps informed Bill Belichick last month of his plans to be a two-sport athlete, but a recent radio interview made it sound like the Olympic silver medalist might be leaning more heavily in one direction than the other. Demps told Sports Talk Florida that he is serious about his commitment to the track season, which is getting under way… Demps is still under contract with the Patriots for two more seasons, but if he isn’t fully invested in football, Belichick has a decision to make in one way or another. Demps was asked how he’d lobby to remain with the Pats. “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,” Demps said. “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.
…And – Daniel Rose, who is Demps’ agent, just told me the Patriots haven’t returned any of his messages for three weeks… Rose wants to know if the Pats are OK with Demps’ decision, or if they’re going to trade or release the 2012 Olympic silver medalist. Until then, Demps’ football status remains uncertain. “He wants to do both, but the team hasn’t even discussed anything with him,” Rose said.
Classic Belichick. I honestly can’t decide which part of this story I find funniest. Is it Demps, thinking he can dictate the terms of his employment to Bill frigging Belichick? Is it his agent, leaving all these messages and honestly thinking he’s going to hear back? Or is it Belichick, not giving either one of them the time of day? I think I’m going to go with Number 3. Because as hilarious as Belichick can be, he’s at his funniest when he’s being Passive-Aggressive Bill. You can just picture him in his office, seeing the caller ID, letting it go to voicemail, then calling his son and Ernie Adams in to listen to in on speaker: “Yeah, hi, Coach. It’s Daniel Rose again. Listen, I was just wondering if you got my other messages? Jeff really wants to run track again, so we’re hoping he can just kind of skip minicamps, training camp, practices and the first half of the season, then show up and play the second half. And I just wanted to get your thoughts…” Then they sit around and piss themselves laughing. Because, sure, that’s how the NFL works. Just show up whenever it suits you. Especially when you’re a 175 lb sprinter who’s never played a down in the NFL. Just treat it like the National Guard Reserves. One weekend a month and two weeks a year and you’re good. After all, there’s nothing a football lifer like The Hooded One loves more than working around the schedule of some part-timer so he can be free to go run in circles for medals and sneaker contracts. Besides, as long as Demps keeps it to under 30 hours a week they don’t have to give him health insurance so it’s win/win. Look, I was as fascinated as anyone by the idea of this kid returning kicks before he got hurt in preseason last year. But like the old saying goes, if the phone don’t ring, that’ll be us. Or as the newer saying goes, what part of “New England signs kick returner Leon Washington” didn’t Demps and his agent understand? @JerryThornton1
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