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Bills hated Brandon Spikes as a Patriot, would love him on their side

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When linebacker Brandon Spikes was playing for the New England Patriots, the Buffalo Bills loathed him.

Spikes was fined $21,000 for a blindside hit of Bills tight end Scott Chandler the first time they played in 2012.

In the rematch, Spikes drilled the helmet off quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick's bearded noggin on a head-to-head collision that cost Spikes $25,000.

Offensive linemen Eric Wood and Andy Levitre have publicly condemned Spikes' behavior -- and have given begrudging praise.

The Bills will like Spikes a hell of a lot more if he puts on one of their uniforms.

Spikes is making a free-agent visit to One Bills Drive today. So is former San Francisco 49ers running back Anthony Dixon.

Spikes would be a terrific addition.

"Spikes is a physical player," Wood told me a few days before the Bills opened their season against the Patriots. "He's kind of an old-school, thumping linebacker, not one of those hybrid guys that you might see nowadays, where maybe he was a converted safety from college. He's a true linebacker. I have a lot of respect for his game.

"That dude will take a shot on anybody if he sees a clean look. I don't think he's going to make an exception and not hit EJ [Manuel] if he thinks he has a shot at him."

Spikes would be a fantastic fit in the middle of Buffalo's defense, especially with Bills General Manager Doug Whaley revealing today Kiko Alonso will be moved to weak-side linebacker.

Spikes was a second-round pick in 2010. His best season was 2012, when he recorded a sack, seven passes defensed and four forced fumbles.

He played last season on an injured knee but landed in Bill Belichick's doghouse -- and injured reserve -- when he was late for a team meeting in the postseason. Spikes was criticized for not staying in shape.

Spikes is close with new Bills defensive line coach Pepper Johnson, who was a longtime assistant with the Patriots and coached linebackers the past two seasons.

  • Patrick Anonymous

    He is also the cousin of Takeo Spikes who still speaks highly of the Bills. I won't expect them to sign him because he will get top $, but it would huge for the Bills if they can pull this off. I think Byrd will be a faint memory to most fans if Spikes gets signed.

  • frcorny

    We signed him. Good. Every team needs one or two bad asses.

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About the reporters

Vic Carucci returned to The Buffalo News as a Bills beat reporter in September. Carucci covered the Bills for 17 years before joining NFL.com as a columnist in 1999. Prior to rejoining The News, he spent three years as a senior editor for the Cleveland Browns.

Tim Graham returned to The Buffalo News in 2011 after covering the NFL for three years at ESPN and for one year at the Palm Beach Post. Before that, the Cleveland native spent seven seasons on the Buffalo Sabres beat for The News and was president of the Boxing Writers Association of America.

Jay Skurski joined The News in January 2009. The Lewiston native attended St. Francis High School before graduating from the University of South Florida.