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Silver medalist Jeff Demps prepared to focus on track, not football

By Evan Hilbert | CBSSports.com

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Jeff Demps (42) may choose track over football. (USATSI)

The New England Patriots took a flyer on track star Jeff Demps last summer, but the former Florida Gator kick returner and running back spent the entire 2012 season on injured reserve. Now Demps says that he's prepared to put football on the back burner and focus primarily on track.

Demps was a silver medalist in the 4x100 relay at the 2012 Summer Olympics.

Speaking to Sports Talk Florida, Demps indicated that he would like to both participate in track and be a member of the Patriots -- if they'll have him. He practiced lobbying coach Bill Belichick on the air.

"Listen coach, I want to do both, but in order for me to get to where I want to be on the track and field side, it'll take a full year of preparation," Demps said, according to the Boston Herald. "And after the [track] season, if you guys are willing to let me come back, you know, probably midseason, and work out and train and get ready for the season, I'll be able to do that. If not, then I guess I'll just focus on running."

Demps made around $400,000 last season in New England, and the Patriots have a backup plan if Demps -- who's under contract for two more seasons -- does decide to focus on track. The team signed running back and kick returner Leon Washington earlier this month.

For his part, Demps doesn't seem too concerned about the Pats shooting down his plan.

"If I'm not able to do football anymore, it's kind of like I'm just opening up another chapter of my life, and it's on the track and field side," he said.

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