Jeff Demps Likely To Sign With NFL Team Today

Former Florida Gators running back Jeff Demps is about to resume his playing career, according to the agency that represents Demps.

The former speedster Demps had quite an off-season this year, as he won a Silver medal in the London Olympics for the Stars and Stripes as a reserve. After the Gators’ football season last year, reports were that Demps was going to pursue a track career. Now, that objective seems to have shifted back to football.

It isn’t yet clear as to which team Demps is going to sign with. Some say the in-state Tampa Bay Bucs are interested. Others say a possible reunion with his Gators teammate Tim Tebow may be in order with the New York Jets.

Demps played his entire Gators career as a running back, but that’s not necessarily his NFL position. His speed could translate into being a slot receiver, especially because he may be too injury prone to handle the wear and tear of the NFL running back.

Demps’ decision should come out soon, and his decision should first be announced on this Twitter account.

Tim Tebow Pokes Fun At Brady Quinn, Notre Dame; Internet Loses Its Mind

Tim Tebow can do just about anything and turn it into news. That should be rephrased. Tim Tebow can do just about anything and we turn it into news. We’re all guilty, as much as we want to blame the “large” news providers. Everything he does generates a discussion. Such is the life of someone in the spotlight that generates so much love, but equal amounts of hate.

Tim Tebow and Brady Quinn, Denver BroncosThe latest has Tebow poking fun at former Denver Broncos teammate Brady Quinn and Notre Dame. If you can even call it that. It seemed like a harmless joke on Tebow’s part. Some believed it was actually an attack.

“I had a teammate at Denver who played the same position as me and he went to the University of Notre Dame. He would brag about his university, how great it was. Most of us in the locker room were like, ‘C’mon, we all had opportunities. We chose not to go there.’ … But he talked so much about his university that it became easy. I’d say, ‘Your whole team had one guy who ran under a 5.0 40. Our kicker ran under 5.0.” – Tim Tebow, New York Jets Quarterback

The former Florida Gators star said the above. Most of you are thinking it’s harmless. The rest of you want blood. Just take a look at the comments on this piece about the mystery of the disappearing story that originally had this quote. On second thought, don’t. Your brain will hurt.

It had been some time since Tebow was at the forefront of the news cycle, but thanks to us he’s back. At some point during Tebow’s career, we all took a side. He can do no wrong. He’ll never make it in the NFL. He’s the greatest college football player of all time. It’s all an act. I LOVE HIM! I HATE HIM! Honestly, it’s exhausting.

I’m a Tebow fan. I don’t deny that. I’ve questioned his ability to play quarterback in the NFL full time. Many have. That doesn’t make me less of a fan of the man that did so much for the Gators. I’m interested in his career progression and I’ll be watching New York Jets games during the 2012 NFL season. Tebow isn’t my favorite former Gator, but he’s up there. When I first read the quote about Quinn, I laughed. Then I discovered the world’s reaction. We’ve all lost our minds.

Can we all just agree on one thing? Florida kickers are fast.

Me, A Tim Tebow Expert? I’ll Take It I Guess

I was recently asked to provide some insight into the legend that is Tim Tebow. Alan Schechter of The JET Press wanted to know what I thought of Tebow as an NFL quarterback. As a fan of the New York Jets – Tebow’s new team (Seriously, you didn’t know that? Sheesh!) – Alan wanted to know what a Florida Gators fan thought of the former orange and blue star and his prospects to be a passer in the NFL for the long term.

I don’t consider myself a Tebow expert (but thank Alan for referring to me as such), but I am a Tebow fan. I wish him nothing but the best for his NFL career, but I do have my own concerns regarding his ability to be a starting quarterback in the league. I believe he can be a key contributor and someone I would want on my team, but he wouldn’t be my first choice to be my primary QB. For more on Tebow, check out my full thoughts at The JET Press.

John Brantley, Deonte Thompson And William Green Sign NFL Free Agent Deals

Two former Florida Gators were expected to be selected in the 2012 NFL draft and exactly two were. Defensive lineman Jaye Howard went to the Seattle Seahawks in the fourth round and running back Chris Rainey joined former teammates Maurkice Pouncey and Marcus Gilbert after he was selected by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the fifth round. No other Gator heard his name called during the NFL’s three-day event (Janoris Jenkins aside). There is hope though; more than a few undrafted players have become key contributors and even stars in the NFL.

Once the draft ends – and even before it comes to its conclusion – phones are ringing and teams are talking to those players they hope to give an opportunity to (or, more realistically, take another look at). Players are signed as undrafted free agents, while others are invited to various camps. Four such individuals have been given a chance to continue their football careers beyond their time with the Gators.

The Baltimore Ravens signed both quarterback John Brantley and wide receiver Deonte Thompson. The two have already spent a lot of time together as Gators and former classmates as a part of Florida’s 2007 recruiting class. While neither would claim their orange and blue careers went as planned, it is nice to see them get at least a look at the next level. There is plenty both can improve, but the opportunity is there. Brantley isn’t being brought aboard to unseat Joe Flacco, but Thompson comes to a team with little depth at wide receiver.

Defensive end William Green was signed to the team that at one point in NFL history became the team that signed Brantley and Thompson. Still with me? Green is now a member of the Cleveland Browns and will go to camp fighting for a roster spot.

Former Florida and Notre Dame offensive lineman Dan Wenger also received interest from several NFL teams, but wasn’t offered a deal. He was invited to participate in the New York Jets mini-camp though.

Tim Tebow Traded To New York Jets

He was, and then he wasn’t, and then he was. It’s now official, former Florida Gators’ star quarterback Tim Tebow has been traded to the New York Jets. The Denver Broncos have sent Tebow and a seventh-round draft pick to the Jets for a fourth- and sixth-round selection. All of the draft picks included in the trade are for the 2012 NFL Draft.

Due to stipulations in his contract regarding advancement of salary, the Tebow-to-New-York deal appeared to have hit a snag on Wednesday. It even looked like he may be headed somewhere else when the Broncos and the Jets had trouble coming to an agreement. In the end, New York agreed to pay half of the $5 million back to the Broncos that had already been advanced to Tebow before the 2011 season. It’s a little confusing, but what we do know is that Tebow is now a New York Jet, set to be Mark Sanchez’s backup.

There are critics and will be more – such is the nature of this being Tim Tebow we’re talking about – but it presents an interesting situation. The Jets seemed to be unimpressed with Sanchez despite playoff success during his first two seasons in the league. New York failed to make the playoffs in Sanchez’s third season, but the quarterback did improve his efficiency rating and completion percentage to set career highs. The numbers are far from impressive, but were enough to change the tide on the team’s perception of their passer and earn Sanchez a three-year, $40.5 million contract extension.

Tebow isn’t being brought in to unseat Sanchez, but instead will likely fit into a role as a change-of-pace quarterback mostly running out of the wildcat. There are still those that have their doubts about Tebow’s chances to be a starting quarterback long-term, so going somewhere where he doesn’t have to immediately “save” a team may be good for him. With the Jacksonville Jaguars, Tebow would have been expected to not only produce wins, but also rescue a franchise in trouble in more ways than one. In New York, Tebow can become part of a team that has a lot of good parts, but needs some help.

Then there’s the other side; the side that believes Tebow should be the man wherever he goes. It can’t be denied that he produced wins in 2011 and was one of the biggest sports’ stories in recent memory. His teammates loved him, fans continued to adore him, and he took a team falling apart to the playoffs. But there was suddenly no room for Tebow when the Broncos signed Peyton Manning earlier this week. Playing behind Manning could have been the perfect situation for Tebow, but as soon as John Elway found another quarterback, the writing was on the wall. Elway never seemed to believe Tebow was the long-term answer and because of that we were all presented with the trade on Wednesday.

A new chapter begins for the former Gator great. It’s a chapter many are eager to read, one critics would rather skip over, but definitely a situation we’ll all pay great attention to. Tim Tebow, we’re all watching as we always have been.

Morning Reading: Percy Harvin Still Absent from Practice

Of course some players don’t need it as much as others.

Percy Harvin suffered a great personal loss last week when he grandmother passed away.  Since then, the Minnesota Vikings second-year wide receiver and kick returner has not been at practice.  While missing practice can cause a player to get behind the rest of the team, conditioning shouldn’t be an issue with Harvin who has proved to be quite the workout warrior over the years in the NFL and at Florida.
Harvin’s migraines though could be a concern.  Stress can be a trigger and if you’ve ever experienced a migraine or known someone who has, you know it’s not pretty.  It can shut you down completely.  Those that don’t know assume it’s just another headache.  Trust me, it’s not.
• The latest on Houston Texans linebacker Brian Cushing is that he works out too much.  In fact, he has what’s called overtrained athlete syndrome.  That syndrome is what contributed to him testing positive for HCG which led to his four-game suspension.  Allegedly.
Apparently overtrained athlete syndrome is a rare condition that can cause spikes in hormone levels and it caused Cushing to test positive for HCG.  Now that research has been conducted and supposedly determined that Cushing did not take a banned substance, the Texans are hoping to get his suspension reduced or even removed completely.
As someone who has been in the news before for similar issues, Cushing will always be looked at with a skeptical eye.  It’s just the way it goes.  This whole overtraining thing seems odd, but the NFL is reviewing the case, so it could become a viable “excuse” for positive tests in the future.
• The longer Darrelle Revis’ holdout goes on, the more likely it is that the New York Jets cornerback will sit out the entire 2010 season.  That seems like a long shot given that not many players ever sit out that long, but sources say Revis is standing firm.
His agents presented the Jets with a revised proposal on Friday, but the team has rejected it stating that it really didn’t change anything.  New York is prepared to offer Revis a long-term deal, but they aren’t close to reaching an agreement on exactly how much guaranteed money it should include.  Each day that passes makes it look more and more like one the league’s top players could not play in 2010.
It may be extremely rare, but if there’s also a lockout next season, Revis could go two full years without playing.  Think that’s good for his career?  He wants (and to a point deserves) more money, but he needs to get to camp.

Morning Reading: Deal Coming Soon for Tim Tebow

And no, this isn’t more news regarding his deal with Jockey.
• The former Florida quarterback isn’t officially a holdout just yet, but Denver Broncos first-round draft pick Tim Tebow did miss the first day of camp.  Tebow and the Broncos appear close to reaching a deal, but with each day that passes, the QB gets further behind.  Further behind Kyle Orton and Brady Quinn.
Tebow isn’t expected to start right away.  He’s probably more likely to end up firmly in the third spot on the depth chart for a good part or all of his rookie season.  But he is expected by the Broncos and head coach Josh McDaniels to do big things either sooner or later.
On Wednesday, Denver went through the playbook and took snaps.  Tebow missed all of that.  With a good frame work for Tebow set when the Dallas Cowboys signed their first-round pick Dez Bryant, a deal is expected soon.  Don’t think Tebow will be out much longer.
• Admit it.  You laughed when you heard Baltimore Ravens rookie defensive tackle Terrence Cody couldn’t pass his conditioning test.  Admit it.  You laughed even harder when you heard his new nickname – Cheeseburger.
Third time was the charm for Cheeseburger Cody.  The massive defensive lineman and former Alabama star finally passed the conditioning test on Wednesday morning and is now permitted to practice with the Ravens.  Expect a solid rookie year from Cody and of course plenty of fun pictures for us to laugh at over the years.
• Seem like Mark Brunell – who just signed a two-year deal with the New York Jets – has been in the league for a while?  His rookie year with the Green Bay Packers was Brett Favre’s third as the team’s starter and fourth in the league.
• Remember when Stephon Marbury was supposed to be one of the next big things in the NBA?  Me neither.  It was a while ago.  In fact, Marbury didn’t play in the league last season instead opting to play in China.
Marbury will stay in China after signing a three-year deal to remain.  The deal includes the team creating a company to produce “Starbury” athletic products and a possible opportunity for Marbury to be an assistant coach in the future.  You can’t make this stuff up.
• Unhappy team management is always humorous when they express their unhappiness well after a situation occurs.  Cleveland Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert was quick to bash everything possible about LeBron James after the star announced he was signing with the Miami Heat.  Gilbert was timely in his response.  Toronto Raptors general manager Bryan Colangelo?  Not so much.
Colangelo recently said in an interview that he believes former Raptor Chris Bosh may have mentally checked out toward the end of last season.  Bosh was cleared to play after an injury, but at times chose not to and Colangelo isn’t happy.  It’s time to move on Bryan.  Bosh isn’t in Toronto anymore and you’ve known for at least the last year that he wouldn’t be.
• Waiting patiently for a milestone to occur isn’t something I care for.  When the milestone is the breaking of a huge record, I’m on the edge of my seat.  When it’s a milestone that doesn’t break a record and frankly just isn’t all that impressive considering the era of baseball we are in, wake me when it’s over.  I’m looking right at you Alex Rodriguez and your quest for 600 homeruns.