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Brandon Spikes on returning to Patriots: ‘You can clearly see me and The Hoodie kissed and made up’ 05.29.15 at 2:37 pm ET
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Brandon Spikes is back with the Patriots after spending four years with the team before playing with Buffalo last year. (Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)

Brandon Spikes is back with the Patriots after spending four years with the team before playing with Buffalo last year. (Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)

FOXBORO – Brandon Spikes was a member of the Patriots for four years, but that doesn’t mean things ended well.

The Patriots didn’t re-sign the middle linebacker following the 2013 season and Spikes signed with the Bills where he then took to Twitter and posted: 4 years a slave. Spikes was put on season-ending injured reserve with a knee injury at the end of 2013, which reportedly was because he missed practice.

It became clear things didn’t end well between he and Bill Belichick.

Fast forward just over a year and with Spikes a free agent, Belichick and the Patriots scooped him up, with Spikes signing a one-year deal. Following Friday’s OTA practice, he spoke for the first time and wasn’t in the mood to discuss his departure.

“I don’t want to talk about that. You can clearly see me and The Hoodie kissed and made up. I’m here, that’s in the past. I’m moving on,” Spikes said, referring to Belichick.

Even with how things ended, Spikes said he’s looking forward to the season and playing for Belichick again.

“I just look at Bill as a genius,” Spikes said. “He can plug guys in and still be efficient and be productive, top of the league in all categories. That’s what makes him great. Just to have that opportunity to play under the greatest coaches ever is a dream come true and I want to definitely take advantage of it. Let him coach me up ins and outs, everything.

“I’m all ears and happy to be here. It’s that simple, I don’t know how else to put it. I’m honestly in awe to be standing here talking, seeing you guys again, familiar face over the years. It’s nice. Everybody welcomed be back — even the fans, the players, the people upstairs. It was all smiles and hugs. It’s cool.”

Spikes spent one year in Buffalo, playing in all 16 games and finishing with 54 tackles. He said nothing has really changed in the one year he missed.

“It’s the Patriot way, you know how that goes,” Spikes said. “It obviously works and I am just glad to be part of it and get another opportunity to prove I can play here and hold myself accountable to my teammates and coaches. I just want to prove them right.”

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Rob Ninkovich ‘excited’ for Brandon Spikes’ return: ‘I saw him this morning and almost lost it’ 05.18.15 at 10:28 pm ET
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Brandon Spikes is back with the Patriots. (Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)

Brandon Spikes is back with the Patriots. (Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)

Although Deflategate has dominated the talk surrounding the team, the Patriots have made some on-field decisions, including signing free agent linebacker Brandon Spikes.

The signing reunites him with his former teammates, and the team that drafted him after spending just one season in Buffalo, as New England signed him to a one-year deal Monday.

The 27-year-old will surely boost the Patriots’ run defense, as he’s considered one of the best run stoppers in the league. Veteran Rob Ninkovich is glad to have his former teammate back.

“I’m excited for that,” Ninkovich said Monday night at his charity event, “€œNinko’€™€™s Ping Pong Challenge”€ at Blazing Paddles next to Fenway Park Monday night. “I saw him this morning and almost lost it. I love Brandon. He’s a great friend of mine. Great teammate. Unfortunately, he went away for a year and now he’s back.

“That tenacity, that toughness at the linebacker spot — running backs really don’t want to run in his way.”

Spikes played in 51 total games with the Patriots recording 296 tackles from 2010-13.

Another big on-field story this offseason was the departure of long-time defensive lineman Vince Wilfork, when his contract wasn’t picked up by the team and he signed with the Texans. With Wilfork gone, Ninkovich is now the oldest member of the defense. That is something Ninkovich knows comes with increased responsibility when it comes to being a leader.

“I am the old man of the defense,” he joked. “For me, going on my 10th year now, it’s really a blessing. A lot of guys, they aren’t able to play that long. For me I take it one year at a time and I look at last year, I look at my game, trying to improve in some aspects to be better in year 10 than I was in year nine.”

The Patriots will continue their OTA workouts next week at Gillette Stadium.

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Patriots announce release of three, including CB Chimdi Chekwa, as well as signing of LB Brandon Spikes at 4:17 pm ET
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The Patriots announced Monday afternoon that they have released cornerback Chimdi Chekwa, linebacker Cameron Gordon and wide receiver Devin Gardner. The team also announced the signing of linebacker Brandon Spikes. Here’€™s a portion of the statement from the team on the moves:
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How Brandon Spikes fits with Patriots defense at 11:13 am ET
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Brandon Spikes is back with the Patriots. (Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)

Brandon Spikes is back with the Patriots. (Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)

Who says you can’t go home again?

After appearing to burn most every bridge on the way out of town last offseason, Brandon Spikes reportedly agreed to a one-year deal with the Patriots on Monday, bringing the linebacker back to New England after a year with the Bills.

While Spikes has had his issues in pass coverage, he remains a tenacious run defender, and will likely slip right back into his old role with the Patriots. His familiarity with the system will certainly help when it comes to the reacclimation process, and the 6-foot-3, 250-pounder will also provide some depth for a linebacking corps that would be without Dont’a Hightower for a stretch this summer because of offseason shoulder surgery.

The signing of Spikes at this point on the calendar also makes sense — as we noted here, the fact the Patriots inked him to a deal following May 12 means that he will not count against the compensatory pick formula for 2016,

The 27-year-old Spikes, who compared his four years with the Patriots to slavery before he signed with Buffalo last offseason, had his best year in 2012, when he started 14 of the 15 games he played in and finished with a career-best 56 tackles. Last season in Buffalo, he played in 16 games and had 32 tackles for the Bills.

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Report: Patriots sign LB Brandon Spikes to 1-year deal at 10:28 am ET
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After one year away from New England, free agent Brandon Spikes is coming back.

With the Bills not re-signing him following the 2014 season, Spikes has signed a one-year deal with the Patriots, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter and Field Yates.

Known for his ability to stop the run, the addition of Spikes will surely be a boost to the Patriots’ front-seven, particularly with the loss of Vince Wilfork. It would appear the defensive focus has shifted towards the front-seven and away from the secondary following the departures of Darrelle Revis and Brandon Browner.

It’s worth noting things didn’t end on the best of terms for Spikes in New England as he was placed on season-ending injured reserve late in 2013 with a knee injury, but reports later said it was because he was late for practice.

He and Bill Belichick had their fair share of disagreements, but it appears they have put those in the past.

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With compensatory pick window closed, which remaining veteran free agents might fit with Patriots? 05.13.15 at 11:28 am ET
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Is there a chance Brandon Spikes finds his way back to Foxboro? (Getty Images)

Is there a chance Brandon Spikes finds his way back to Foxboro? (Getty Images)

Starting Wednesday, teams can sign existing free agents without having an effect on the compensatory pick formula for 2015. With that in mind, it’s worth revisiting the status of some of available veteran free agents we initially detailed a few weeks ago who might make a good fit with the Patriots this spring. (With the possibility of a suspension for Tom Brady looming, we added one extra name to the mix.)

Colin McCarthy: The Patriots brought the 25-year-old linebacker in for a workout earlier this spring, and apparently had some level of interest in signing the 6-foot-4, 235-pounder, who played the last four years of his career with the Titans.

Brandon Spikes: The linebacker, who appeared to burn his bridges on the way out of town last offseason, reportedly had a sit-down with the Patriots earlier this month that could ultimately pave the way for his return to the New England linebacking corps. The 27-year-old, a 6-foot-3, 250-pounder, would provide some thump in the middle against the run, as well as some depth if Dont’a Hightower is sidelined for an extended stretch with his shoulder issue.

Dane Fletcher: Another former New England linebacker currently without a home, the 28-year-old spent last season with the Bucs after four years with the Patriots. The 6-foot-2, 244-pounder is a versatile presence who also brings some special teams value to the table.

Matt Flynn: If the Patriots are without Tom Brady at the start of the season, this veteran could fit with New England in a pinch. Flynn, who will turn 30 next month, has played for the Packers, Seahawks, Bills and Raiders, and is likely the best available free-agent quarterback on the market. He had one of the finest games of his career against New England in 2010 at Gillette Stadium — with Aaron Rodgers on the shelf because of a concussion, he went 24-for-37 for 251 yards with three touchdowns and one interception in a 31-27 loss to the Patriots.

Red Bryant: The need for another defensive lineman was lessened with the selection of Malcom Brown in the first round of the 2015 draft, but the 30-year-old vet has been on New England’s radar screen for a few years now. The 6-foot-5, 328-pound defensive lineman came close to signing with the Patriots when he was a free agent in 2012, but ended up with the Seahawks. He’€™s not the elite-level defender he once was, but he’s durable (he’s played in 63 of a possible 64 regular-season games over the last four years) and is considered an excellent locker room presence.

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Reports: Free agent LB Brandon Spikes in for visit with Patriots 05.06.15 at 3:32 pm ET
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In non-Deflategate news, according to multiple reports, free agent linebacker and former Patriot Brandon Spikes is at Gillette Stadium for a visit on Tuesday.

The linebacker was drafted by the team in 2010. He spent four years with the team and was not re-signed following the end of the 2013 season. He reportedly did not have a good end to his time in New England, as he and Bill Belichick had their disagreements. He was placed on injured reserve at the end of the 2013 season, but Spikes maintained he was not injured and could have played.

In one season with the Bills, Spikes recorded 54 tackles playing in all 16 games.

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