New England Patriots Release Brandon Spikes: Taking Stock of Linebacker Depth

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Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Dane Fletcher

You’ve probably heard that Fletcher came back to the Patriots this offseason on a one-year deal. His stint in Tampa Bay was disappointing, as he only recorded half of a sack.

What his rough 2014 season as a Buccaneer tells us is that Fletcher is best suited in New England. After all, Bill Belichick is the guy who converted Fletcher from a college defensive lineman to an NFL linebacker.

Many Patriots fans, including Yours Truly, didn’t like seeing Fletcher depart after a 2013 season in which he really established himself as a valuable commodity. In that unforgettable 24-0 comeback against the Denver Broncos, it was Fletcher who forced the fumble that gave the Patriots the ball back late in the fourth quarter so the offense could tie the game.

In the wake of Spikes’ release, Fletcher ought to find himself as one of the top depth options at linebacker. He is experienced in the Patriots’ defensive system, an established veteran and hungry to repair his reputation after the 2014 season in Tampa.

The Patriots are looking pretty smart right now for signing both Spikes and Fletcher back in May. With Spikes gone, it’s that much more of a relief to have Fletcher on the roster.