Linebacker Brandon Spikes will serve a year of probation after pleading guilty Wednesday in a hit-and-run crash, as Andy Rosen of The Boston Globe writes. The June incident on Interstate 495 injured three people.
Police determined that Spikes was speeding and driving negligently when he crashed his Maybach sedan into an SUV. After the crash, Spikes fled the scene and that crime calls for up to two years in jail. However, the free agent linebacker was able to avoid prison time due to the minor nature of the injuries. Still, the case figures to negatively impact his chances of playing for an NFL team this season, since he could face discipline from the league as well.
The Patriots signed Spikes to a one-year deal back in May but dropped him almost immediately after the crash. The 27-year-old started his career with New England, spending four seasons with the team before joining the division-rival Bills a year ago. While he’s typically taken off the field in passing downs, Spikes is an effective part-time player, specializing as a run defender. He received interest from – or at least was linked to – the 49ers, Vikings, Dolphins, and Bills earlier this offseason.
On an admittedly small sample of passing downs, the advanced metrics from Pro Football Focus (subscription required) were actually kind to Spikes’ pass-coverage abilities, as he ranked fourth-best at his position in yards per coverage snap and coverage snaps per reception. Still, you can expect to see him mostly against the run. Overall, he graded as PFF’s 13th-best inside linebacker in the league last season thanks to his run-stopping ability. Spikes finished ninth against the run at his position in 2014 and ranked No. 1 against the run in both 2012 and 2013.