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Patriots' Brandon Spikes: Time for a 'fresh start'

Patriots linebacker Brandon Spikes, poised to be a free agent next week, said Friday on NFL Network's "NFL AM" he is ready to move on from New England.

"I would never say never -- everybody (says) you never want to burn a bridge," he said of returning to New England. "But I just feel like both sides would benefit from a fresh start."

Spikes reiterated that it was his knee injury that ended his 2013 season -- not missing a meeting.

The controversy bubbled in New England last season after Spikes was surprisingly placed on injured reserve.

The linebacker said he is "100 percent" healthy and that the disagreement is "in the past and it's time to move on."

Spikes ranks No. 29 on Around The League's top 101 free-agent list and rates as the top inside linebacker available.

While most believe Spikes is an old-school two-down run-stopper, the linebacker disagrees with that sentiment.

"I feel like I'm a three-down player," Spikes said. "I know a lot of people know me as a run-stopper, but I've got great coverage skills, I can cover better than you think. Given the opportunity on third down, I delivered every time. It's on tape....I led the team in tackles this year, that just goes to show you when I'm on the field, I'm a very efficient and effective and productive player."

There is no questioning his ability as a physical, run-stuffing player. The game film of his coverage situations tells a different story than he'd author -- Pro Football Focus also ranked him the 38th-best inside linebacker against the pass last season.

Whether or not Spikes can convince a team he can play three downs is likely to be reflected in his next paycheck -- one that likely won't be signed by Robert Kraft.

*The latest "Around The League Podcast" talks the latest news, Jimmy Graham and the best fits in free agency. *

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