What with the controversy surrounding deflategate continuing to escalate, the New England Patriots hierarchy could perhaps be forgiven for taking the foot off the gas a little when it comes to decisions on the field.
That, though, isn't the reigning Super Bowl champ's style. Indeed, just a few hours after the Patriots' latest player departure it now looks like the franchise have brought a familiar face back into the fold on a one-year deal.
The player's controversial departure from New England first time around though may mean he receives a frosty reception when he arrives at Foxboro.
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NFL guru Adam Schefter was the first to report the news that linebacker Brandon Spikes will be back in a Patriots uniform in 2015 after spending one season with AFC East rivals, the Buffalo Bills.
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After being drafted in the second round of the 2010 draft by the New England Patriots, Brandon Spikes spent the first four years of his NFL career playing in Bill Belichick's team.
In 51 games for the franchise he amassed 174 tackles, two interceptions and four forced fumbles as he built up a reputation as a hard-hitting player capable of adding to any run defense.
It was the way Spikes ended his time with the franchise that makes his return for 2015 so surprising, however.
After reportedly turning up late for practice as the Patriots prepared for the playoffs in the 2013 season, the linebacker was placed on Injured Reserve by the franchise in a widely acknowledged disciplinary move.
Spikes, having signed for the Bills in the subsequent offseason, appeared to have put the final nail in his Patriots coffin with some fairly outspoken tweets condemning his time in New England.
As you might expect, his social media activity didn't make him Mr. Popular with the Patriots fan base in the 13 months that have passed since. Clearly, though the decision-makers at the franchise are willing to put it behind them in an effort to sure up their defense moving forward.
With Dont'a Hightower recovering from shoulder surgery, and fellow linebacker Jered Mayo also on the comeback trail from injury, the addition of the experienced Spikes certainly makes sense from a football perspective.
Whether those at Foxboro - both players and fans - are willing to let his off-field outburt slide however is another matter.
Patriots fans: Are you willing to forgive Brandon Spikes now that he has re-signed? Have your say in the comments section below...
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