News and thoughts about New England Patriots middle linebacker Brandon Spikes, a potential Minnesota Vikings-Seattle Seahawks trade involving Percy Harvin and Matt Flynn, Joe Flacco‘s contract negotiations with the Baltimore Ravens, 2013 NFL Draft-bound Purdue corner Josh Johnson, and former Patriots receiver David Patten were used in this New England Patriots Rundown piece.
1. The New England Patriots got a steal in the 2010 NFL Draft when they selected Florida Gators star middle linebacker Brandon Spikes with the 62nd pick. After showing flashes in his first two seasons but unable to stay healthy and consistent, Spikes turned the corner in 2012 and was healthy for almost the entire season. Spikes is a catalyst for this defense, and he is one of the best run-stopping linebackers in the NFL today. When you watch him, it’s just incredible how strong he is, how explosive he is, how vicious he is, and how fast he gets downhill to stop the run.
Even though Spikes is a terrible coverage linebacker, I’ll definitely take the bad with the good. NE Patriots Draft continues their series where they re-grade past Patriots picks, and Dan Hope gave the selection of Spikes an “A-“.
2. Percy Harvin has always been whispered around by Patriots fans in rumors and speculation as a possible trade candidate for this team. Those whispers have become open discussion in Patriots Nation, and Harvin has become quite the NFL news topic now that the Minnesota Vikings sound more open to dealing him. They obviously aren’t just going to give him away or anything, and they will command a large fee for Harvin’s services. He has plenty of value to this team and is one of the league’s premier playmakers. If the Patriots were able to pry him away (they would likely need to give some 2014 picks in there as well), then he would be an enormous weapon. I’d rather have the Pats gauge Wes Welker‘s interest in re-signing first before giving a king’s ransom for Harvin, but there’s little doubt that Harvin is the better player (when you factor in age).
Rotoworld speculates that a deal between the Seattle Seahawks and Minnesota Vikings involving Percy Harvin and Matt Flynn could work, and they toss out Flynn and a second-rounder for Harvin as a potential deal. It sounds like the Vikes are content to roll with Christian Ponder going forward, so they might actually want picks instead of Flynn. But that’s an interesting thought.
3. Former New England Patriots beat guy Ian Rapoport said that Joe Flacco’s ambitious agent Joe Linta and the Baltimore Ravens do not have any talks scheduled. Flacco wants to be the highest-paid quarterback in the NFL after rejecting a top five contract last season, and let’s just say that I’m not a fan of the idea of him making more than Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, and Aaron Rodgers (just to name three). I highly doubt Ravens GM Ozzie Newsome is either, and this is a contract discussion that has ramifications for other key members of the Ravens, especially WR Anquan Boldin.
4. Kevin Weidl is one of my favorite college scouts, and he has done some in-depth reports on New England Patriots prospects for ESPN Boston. Yesterday, he took to Twitter to discuss Purdue cornerback Josh Johnson’s game tape against Notre Dame which he called “strong” due to Johnson’s instincts, toughness, and fluidity. Weidl did note his concern for Johnson’s size, as he is just 5’11”, 195 pounds. But he plays tough, and some believe he is worth a fifth-round pick.
5. Former New England Patriots wide receiver David Patten was hired as a coach for West Carolina, where he will also finish up his degree. This is great news for Patriots fans, and I wish the best of luck for Patten in his future with West Carolina. Great hire for the Catamounts.
You can follow Joe Soriano on Twitter @SorianoJoe.