FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- The Patriots have traded running back Jeff Demps and a seventh-round draft choice (229th overall) to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in exchange for running back LeGarrette Blount, the team announced.
The Buccaneers had been trying to trade Blount, according to the Tampa Times, while the dynamics of Demps' situation with the Patriots changed this offseason when he decided to run track for Team USA while hoping to still play football. It is unclear if Demps' pursuit of track led to the trade, but it seems likely given that the Patriots had guaranteed him $211,000 in a three-year contract last year as a rookie free agent. Demps spent last year on season-ending injured reserve (knee) after sustaining a knee injury in the preseason.
As for Blount, he was phased out of the Buccaneers' offense last year, carrying just 41 times for 151 yards (3.7 average) with two touchdowns. As a rookie in 2010 under former Buccaneers coach Raheem Morris, Blount rushed for 1,007 yards on 201 carries.
At 6-foot-0 and 247 pounds, Blount is a bigger back and joins a position headlined by Stevan Ridley (5-11, 220), Shane Vereen (5-9, 205), Brandon Bolden (5-11, 220) and Leon Washington (5-8, 203). The Patriots inherit his one-year contract.
Blount's resume includes some on- and off-field issues and altercations, in college and the NFL, that the Patriots were obviously comfortable with, or else they wouldn't have made the trade.
The Patriots host the Buccaneers on Sept. 22.