Jeff Demps will miss training camp, decide on Buccaneers future by mid August

Al Messerschmidt

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers will have to make do without Jeff Demps for now, which will hurt his eventual chances of making the team.

Kick returner/running back/wide receiver/offensive weapon Jeff Demps will make a decision on his NFL future by mid August, as the athlete is finishing up the current professional track season. SB Nation spoke with his agent, who clarified Demps' current priorities.

"He can't (attend camp) because he's in Amsterdam," said Rose. "He's had dialogue with Tampa Bay, and they've been supportive of him running track and doing both sports. At the end of the season in the middle of August he'll make a decision, nothing's final yet. Jeff is going to focus on track and then he'll focus on whatever's next."

This will force Jeff Demps to miss training camp, which starts next week.

Demps has every right to participate in track, of course, and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have been supportive of his decision, said Rose. The Bucs traded Legarrette Blount for Jeff Demps and a seventh-round pick earlier this season after they had tried and failed to sign the former Gator as an undrafted free agent the year before.

For the Buccaneers, though, this presents some issues. Demps' absence in training camp will put him behind the ball in learning the system and proving his worth in training camp. He will be faced with competition for a roster spot, and if he joins the Bucs by mid August he will have effectively two preseason games and every little practice time to show that they should hang onto him.

Maybe that's enough, but I doubt. There's little downside for the Bucs, though. They can give him the opportunity at practically no cost, and simply cut him if it turns out he isn't good enough. And if he does look good in the limited time he will have to prove himself, the Bucs have a new kick returner.

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