NFL free agency 2014: Brandon Spikes visiting Buffalo Bills

Jared Wickerham

The Bills have a need for a run-defending middle linebacker, and Spikes is the best on the market for that role.

Free agent linebacker Brandon Spikes is visiting the Buffalo Bills today, the team announced.

The news comes just hours after GM Doug Whaley confirmed to WGR 550 that Kiko Alonso is moving to the weak-side linebacker position next season, opening up a need for a middle linebacker.

Spikes, 26, is a former second-round draft pick out of Florida that spent the first four seasons of his pro career with the New England Patriots. Regarded as one of the better run-defending middle linebackers in the league, Spikes accumulated 286 tackles and five forced fumbles in his four seasons with the Pats.

The Bills are committed to moving Alonso outside, and it's sounding like free agent addition Keith Rivers is in the team's plans on the strong side of the formation as a potential three-down player. Spikes would be an ideal fit as a two-down player that upgrades the team's ability to stop the run, but he is without a doubt a liability in coverage. (He also has a bit of a negative reputation in these parts, as well.)

Buffalo also confirmed that running back Anthony Dixon is visiting the team today.

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