According to Mike Reiss of ESPN Boston, the Patriots have been looking to add experienced linebacker depth, which explains why the team met with free agent linebackers Dane Fletcher and Brandon Spikes this past week.
A source tells Reiss that there is a “good chance” the Patriots will sign Fletcher and to not rule out them bringing back Spikes either.
After next Tuesday, signing free agents will no longer factor into a team’s compensatory picks, so we could see a number of veteran players signed at that point in time.
Spikes is one of the best available free agents. However, his market has been very slow moving since free agency got under way a few months ago. He did find some interest from the 49ers, but they elected to sign Philip Wheeler on Thursday of last week.
Spikes, 27, was forced to sign a one-year, $3 million contract with the Bills last year after finding very limited interest on the open market.
In 2014, he appeared in all 16 games and recorded 54 tackles, one sack, a forced fumble and three pass defines. Pro Football Focus has him rated as the N0. 13 inside linebacker out of 60 qualifying players due in large part to a very solid rating as a run-defender.
Fletcher, 28, originally signed on with the Patriots as an undrafted free agent out of Montana State back in 2010. He spent the first four years of his career in New England before signing a one-year contract with the Buccaneers last March.
In 2014, Fletcher appeared in all 16 games for the Buccaneers and recorded 41 tackles, a half sack and an pass defense. Pro Football Focus has him rated as the No. 53 inside linebacker out of 60 qualifying players.