Originally written on 60 Max Power O  |  Last updated 8/18/12

FOXBORO, MA - JANUARY 10: Julian Edelman #11 of the New England Patriots makes a recpetion against the Baltimore Ravens during the 2010 AFC wild-card playoff game at Gillette Stadium on January 10, 2010 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. The Ravens won 33-14. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

Julian Edelman and Danny Woodhead should be looking over their shoulders starting this week as the New England Patriots have signed former Florida Gator running back/kick returner, Olympic Silver Medalist and track star Jeff Demps to a three year contract, ESPN reported late Friday night

The Patriots hope that Demps can aid the return game with his speed and elusiveness, which last year was subpar in both punt (ranked 16th in the NFL with an average of 10.2 yards) and kickoff (29th return at 21.4 yards). At Florida he averaged 18.5 yards per punt and 28.8 on kickoffs with a touchdown.

Additionally Demps can help offensively as well. In his career at Florida, he rushed 367 times for 2,470 yards (6.7 yard avg.) and 54 catches for 481 yards (8.4 yard avg.) but scored 24 touchdowns (23 rushing, 1 receiving).

His one downfall, which he will need to correct to see the field, or remain with the team, is his propensity to let the ball go. He fumbled 11 times in 424 touches in his career at Florida.

What does the signing mean for Edelman and Woodhead and their roster spots?

Of the two, I think Edelman would be the safer. Edelman is the team’s Swiss army knife as he plays WR, punt returner, part time fill-in for the secondary and with his experience at Kent State, can play quarterback in an emergency. Edelman had shown flashes in his rookie year, even drawing comparisons to All-Pro WR Wes Welker, but his involvement has been up and down in his three years with the team. This is his first threat of not making the team after his rookie camp, where he came in as a 7th round selection. We should see how he handles it this time.

Danny Woodhead, a fifth year RB out of Chadron State, has come in and filled the role vacated by long time Patriot Kevin Faulk after Faulk tore his ACL in 2010. Woodhead, who is the same height as Demps, 5’7”, could be in trouble if Demps can figure out the offense and protect the ball. They both having a lot of similar skills, so why keep both?

Woodhead and Edelman had better play a very good game and leave good impressions with head coach Bill Belichick and offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels before Demps can start practicing. McDaniels is already thinking of ways to use his new weapon.

This will add to the WR, offensive line drama going on camp.

GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Vin Scully will return to the Dodgers in 2016

Rob Gronkowski’s younger brother, Glenn, trying to make NFL as fullback

Michael Bennett fined over $17K for nasty hit on Alex Smith

Cam Cameron battling prostate cancer

RG3 to be held out 1-2 weeks after doctor changes mind

LA Kings offer Peter Budaj a professional tryout

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Carlos Boozer hoping roster spot opens on playoff team

Starting EJ Manuel not a bad idea for Bills’ third preseason game

Tim Beckman fired by Illinois amid mistreatment allegations

Chip Kelly reveals thought process behind Bradford trade

Charles Barkley on ex-agent: ‘I’d blow his damn brains out’

Bryce Harper doesn’t seem to care if Nationals make playoffs

NFL admits communication breakdown in Pats-Saints game

WATCH: TJ Yeldon gets crushed in brutal goal-line collision

The WWE Divas Revolution is getting ugly

The NFL’s season kickoff isn’t going as planned, but plans don’t matter in the NFL

Jonathan Kraft: Patriots haven’t apologized to ESPN’s Chris Mortensen

Ballmer declines $60M/yr TV deal, could start streaming

Nationals forced to re-issue massive bobblehead order

Jay Gruden would like the media to stop calling him fat

Spieth: New irons the reason for missed cut at Barclays?

Opening Drive: Where have all the great UM tailbacks gone?

The 1980s Lakers represent the NBA’s ultimate creation story

The Orioles’ frustrating season

Andy Reid perfect play: 'That’s like a good cheeseburger'

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

The WWE Divas Revolution is getting ugly

The NFL’s season kickoff isn’t going as planned, but plans don’t matter in the NFL

The Opening Drive: What happened to all the great Michigan tailbacks?

The 1980s Lakers represent the NBA’s ultimate creation story

The Orioles’ frustrating season

Five greatest NBA players of all-time

Finding signs of life for the Red Sox

10 NFL players set for down seasons in 2015

Why NFL preseason games matter

August's winners and losers in sports

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker