Shutdown Corner

Buccaneers, Patriots strike deal for unwanted running backs

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LeGarrette Blount was traded to the Patriots (USA Today Sports Images)

The New England Patriots and Tampa Bay Buccaneers have once again worked out a trade, this time agreeing to a trade involving an unwanted running back, an Olympic silver medalist and a seventh-round draft pick.

According to Tom Curran of Comcast SportsNet New England, the Patriots have acquired LeGarrette Blount in exchange for Jeff Demps and the 229th overall pick in the 2013 NFL draft.

New England and Tampa Bay hooked up last year's trade deadline, with the Patriots acquiring cornerback Aqib Talib in exchange for a fourth-round pick in the 2013 NFL draft. The Buccaneers used that pick to select Michigan State defensive end William Gholston. The Patriots also received a seventh-round pick back from the Buccaneers in the Talib deal, which is the 226th overall selection.

Blount entered the NFL with the Tennessee Titans as an undrafted free agent out of Oregon in 2010. Claimed off waivers by the Buccaneers, the 6-foot, 245-pound Blount ran for 1,007 yards and six touchdowns as a rookie, despite starting just seven of 13 games. Blount ran for 781 yards and five touchdowns as a 14-game starter in 2011, but lost his starting job to 2012 first-round pick Doug Martin and had just 41 carries for 151 yards and two touchdowns in very limited action, logging just 92 snaps over the entire season, according to official playing-time documents.

Blount was scheduled to be a restricted free agent this offseason, but agreed to a one-year, $1.75 million contract with the Buccaneers on March 7. Blount's deal contained no guaranteed money, but the running back can earn a $150,000 workout bonus and another $350,000 bonus by reporting to training camp. If Blount makes the Patriots' 53-man roster, which is far from being a lock, he is scheduled to earn $1.25 million in non-guaranteed base salary.

The Patriots signed Demps as an undrafted free agent out of Florida. Demps accumulated over 3,500 all-purpose yards and scored 25 touchdowns for the Gators, but represented his country on the 4 x 100-meter relay team during the 2012 London Games and did not start to pursue an NFL career until last August. The Patriots won the bidding war for Demps, signing him to a three-year contract that included $211,000 in guaranteed money, including a $200,000 base salary guarantee for the 2012 season.

Demps had nine carries for 56 yards, caught three passes for 31 yards, averaged 13 yards on five punt returns and 21 yards on three kick returns in two preseason games, but was placed on injured reserve with a knee injury in September. Demps is signed through the 2014 season at league minimum salaries ($405,000 in 2013, $495,000 in 2014), but recently stated his desire to run track and play football, a decision that the Patriots were not open to. The Buccaneers are clearly fine with that arrangement, though they're likely happy to take a seventh-round pick from New England to part ways with Blount, who has no role on offense, no value on special teams and had some discipline issues in college (missed most of his senior season after sucker-punching a player from Boise State) and in his first few seasons in the NFL.

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