New England Patriots News: Brandon Spikes, Armond Armstead


Much has been made of New England Patriots fourth-year middle linebacker Brandon Spikes‘s decision to sit out of the first session of voluntary organized team activity, and some believe that this doesn’t bode well for Spikes’s future in New England. It was reported earlier by the Boston Herald, however, that Spikes is not leveraging himself against the team and is not upset with anything contract-wise heading into the final year of his rookie deal. It was reported that Spikes will be back for minicamp in mid-June and that Spikes simply likes working out alone.

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New Patriots beat guy Ben Volin of the Boston Globe knows plenty about Brandon Spikes, even though he covered the Miami Dolphins for the Palm Beach Post before replacing Greg Bedard on the Globe six days ago. That’s because the first team Volin covered with the Post was the Florida Gators, and, in the post above, he referenced times in college when Spikes preferred to be a “lone wolf”.

This backs up the point that the main reason why Brandon Spikes did not participate in OTAs is because he believes it is better for him to work out on his own. Spikes has every right to do this, and he isn’t the only player who feels this way around the league. Troy Polamalu, before 2012, did not participate in OTAs for this reason, and nobody will ever knock Polamalu’s leadership.

Spikes isn’t on that level, though, and it’s unclear as to whether or not Bill Belichick is upset at Spikes. He can’t be happy with him for this, but this isn’t going to make-or-break Spikes’s time in New England, and there’s basically no chance of Spikes getting traded. Volin wrote that he expects Spikes to participate in Patriots minicamp, and there’s no reason for me to disagree with him.

Rookie defensive tackle Armond Armstead is set for a significant role in the Patriots defense next season, and he figures to get heavy snaps coming out of the CFL and on the Pats interior as a pass rushing specialist at DT. Armstead, who is 6’5″ and weighs 298 pounds, is certainly an intriguing player, and he would have been at least a third-round pick if he was a draft-eligible player. A star with the USC Trojans and Toronto Argonauts, Armstead has a chip on his shoulder and will be a player to watch for closely.

ESPN Boston’s Mike Reiss said in his Sunday column that the Patriots “seem to have high hopes” for Armstead, and it certainly does appear that way. The Patriots released Brandon Deaderick and Kyle Love, so they are clearly expecting big things out of Armstead and fellow offseason signing Tommy Kelly. It’s easy to see at least one of those two DTs having a strong 2013 campaign, but the Patriots need both to be quality players on the defensive line for the Patriots to justify releasing a solid DT like Love.

You can follow Joe Soriano on Twitter @SorianoJoe.