The New England Patriots have reportedly signed inside linebacker Brandon Spikes to a one-year contract for the 2015 NFL season.
ESPN’s Field Yates reported the move, crediting Adam Schefter as well:
From @AdamSchefter & me: the Patriots have signed free agent LB Brandon Spikes to a 1-year deal. Spikes spent the 2014 season Buffalo.
— Field Yates (@FieldYates) May 18, 2015
Spikes is a five-year veteran who has started 49 games in his career. He spent his first four years with New England. He will likely compete for snaps with Jerod Mayo and Dont’a Hightower, both of whom are returning from injuries this year.
The former Florida Gators star isn’t a three-down player. He is a thumper who is strong against the run but who struggles in coverage. The move is likely insurance in case Mayo and/or Hightower do not return to form after suffering injuries last year.
[mks_pullquote align=”right” width=”300″ size=”24″ bg_color=”#000000″ txt_color=”#ffffff”]…Spikes was outspoken against the Patriots last year after being picked up by Buffalo. He went on a Twitter rant that included the phrase, “4 years a slave,” regarding his time in New England…[/mks_pullquote]As an interesting side note, Spikes was outspoken against the Patriots last year after being picked up by Buffalo. He went on a Twitter rant that included the phrase, “4 years a slave,” regarding his time in New England and guaranteed the Bills would beat the Patriots both times they played in 2014. The Bills did manage one win, but it was a meaningless game in Week 17 as New England had already wrapped up the division on its way to a Super Bowl victory over the Seattle Seahawks.
Spikes likely wishes he could take the “slave” comment back at this point.
He’s going to need to work his tail off this summer to earn playing time this fall. Though still effective in the run game, the NFL is evolving more and more into a passing league. Spikes isn’t a swift lateral mover, and his feet often get stuck in wet cement when attempting to cover shifty running backs in the open field.
This was a smart move by the Patriots to shore up the roster. However, nobody should expect Spikes to be an integral part of New England’s defensive plans unless he’s called into duty due to injuries.
Photo: Steve Mitchell-US PRESSWIRE