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Free-agent LB Brandon Spikes visiting Patriots

On a day filled with distractions for the New England Patriots, the team continues to focus on football.

NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reported Wednesday that free-agent linebacker Brandon Spikes is in town for a visit, per a source informed of his situation.

Spikes spent his first four NFL campaigns as a talented run-stuffer in New England before taking over at middle linebacker for the Bills last season. He's purely a two-down defender, but the Patriots knew how to make the most of him. Spikes, though, initially left New England with a somewhat tarnished reputation after not always stepping in line with coach Bill Belichick.

If there's mutual interest, Spikes would return to join a deep linebacking crew stocked with Jerod Mayo, Jamie Collins and Dont'a Hightower.

New England is building a beast up front, but as we mentioned on the latest podcast, the team's stripped-down secondary looms as more of a need position than linebacker.

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