Bucs lose out on Olympic medalist

August, 17, 2012
8/17/12
2:34
PM ET
It looks as if the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will have to settle for a bronze medal, at best.

John Clayton reports that Olympic silver medalist Jeff Demps will sign with the New England Patriots. An official announcement is expected later Friday afternoon.

But, barring a sudden change, it appears the Bucs are out of the race for Demps. I don’t know think that’s catastrophic, but it wouldn’t have hurt a team that struggles at the box office to add a former University of Florida player. The Bucs also were interested from a football perspective because they thought Demps’ speed would make him effective as a return man and that, in time, he could have grown into a role as a receiver or running back.

It was a nice dream while it lasted, but now the Bucs have to move on. I don’t know that they’re actively looking for any other Olympians. But they’ve already got a player like Demps on the roster. That’s rookie running back Michael Smith. He may initially be stuck behind Doug Martin and LeGarrette Blount in the backfield, but Smith may get to handle some return duties right from the start.

Pat Yasinskas | email

ESPN Tampa Bay Buccaneers reporter

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