New England Patriots sign MLB Brandon Spikes

I guess it’s back to slavery for Brandon Spikes. Spikes famously referred to his time in New England, to start his career from 2010-2013, as “4 years a slave” on Twitter after signing with division rival Buffalo last off-season, showing something in between a lame joke and a lack of self-awareness in the process. Spikes has reportedly rubbed coaches the wrong way throughout his career, a big part of the reason why he remained unsigned this late into free agency, so it looks like the joke is on him.

Spikes is only a two down middle linebacker, but he’s very good at what he does. He’s graded out 4th, 22nd, 1st, 1st, and 9th among middle linebackers against the run in 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, and 2014 respectively. He’s never played more than 742 snaps in a season because of his issues in coverage and he’s never ranked higher than 20th at his position in coverage, but he still should have seen a bigger market than this.

Ironically, the only place that would take him is the Patriots, who welcome him back on a 1.15 million dollar deal. Spikes won’t even start in New England this time around, as Jamie Collins broke out in his absence in a Super Bowl winning season, but he’ll provide valuable depth for a team whose two-down linebacker, Jerod Mayo, has missed 20 games with injury over the past 2 seasons and who is coming off of a torn patellar tendon, arguably the worst injury in football. It’s funny that Spikes had to settle for this deal and the Patriots are getting a steal, even if he doesn’t fill a need.

Grade: A-

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