Brandon Spikes is entering his first season with the Buffalo Bills after spending the previous four years with the New England Patriots. Spikes, a versatile linebacker in the Patriots’ 3-4 scheme, had a tumultuous departure with New England, ending with the Patriots letting him walk via free agency. In April 2014, Spikes took to Twitter to vent his frustration.
Early Years & College
Spikes was born in Shelby, N.C. on Sept. 3, 1987. Spikes attended Crest High where he was a four-year starter at linebacker and defensive end and listed as the No. 1 recruit in North Carolina. Spikes had 74 tackles as a senior and was selected to participate in the U.S. Army All-American Game. After graduating, Spikes went to the University of Florida, making 39 starts and registering 307 tackles (31.5 tackles for loss). He helped the Gators win the BCS National Championship in 2007 and 2009, while earning All-SEC honors in 2007, 2008 and 2009. He was a consensus All-American in 2008 and 2009.
New England Patriots
Spikes was drafted in the second round of the 2010 NFL draft (62nd overall). Spikes played in 12 games during his rookie season, starting eight. The season was also marked with controversy after he was suspended four games for violating the league’s substance abuse policy. In 2011, his numbers dipped and it became apparent he was more of a two-down linebacker, a bad fit for the Patriots’ scheme. Still, Spikes managed to register 286 total tackles in four seasons in New England, with one sack and two interceptions.
Spikes, despite playing in all 16 regular-season games in 2013, wasn’t re-signed by the Patriots. On March 14, 2014, he inked a one-year, $3.25 million deal with Buffalo. Spikes is projected to be the team’s starting middle linebacker in 2014 as the Bills switch to a 4-3 defense, Spikes’ natural position.
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