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Brandon Spikes, New England Patriots agree to one-year deal

The Bills have moved in a different direction at linebacker, leaving Spikes to reunite with the team that made him a second-round pick in the 2009 NFL Draft.

Brett Carlsen/Getty Images

After a one-year stint with the Buffalo Bills, linebacker Brandon Spikes is returning to the team that gave him his first NFL opportunity, signing a one-year deal with the New England Patriots, per reports.

Spikes was left on the free agent market by the Bills for more than two months following a 2014 campaign in which he recorded 54 tackles, a sack, and a forced fumble as a part-time middle linebacker under departed defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz. Rex Ryan has taken over the defensive scheming in Buffalo, and with Preston Brown and Nigel Bradham in line to see the lion's share of reps, the Bills likely did not see value in paying more than a veteran minimum for a limited reserve.

That left Spikes to re-sign with New England, where he'll likely play a similar reserve-type role, while the Bills will feature a pretty fierce backup linebacker competition this summer between the likes of Ty Powell, Randell Johnson, Jimmy Gaines, and rookies Tony Steward and A.J. Tarpley.