Patriots release Spikes following abandoned car incident


Patriots release Spikes following abandoned car incident

The Brandon Spikes Reunion Tour lasted all of 21 days.

The linebacker, whose signing was announced by the Patriots on May 18, has been released following an incident over the weekend where a car registered to him was abandoned on I-495 following a collision.

Early Sunday morning Massachusetts state troopers responded to a report of a vehicle in the median strip of Route 495 in Foxboro. The OnStar on-board navigation system informed police that the operator of the vehicle reported that the vehicle, a 2011 Mercedes Maybach registered to Spikes, hit a deer.

When troopers arrived on the scene, they found the car abandoned in the median strip with damage to its front end. There was no deer was located in the area.

A short time later, according to Mass State Police, troopers responded to a report of a 2009 Nissan Murano on Route 495, in the same area as the abandoned car. Those in the car reported they had been rear-ended by another vehicle that they did not see.

Three occupants of the Murano -- a 51-year-old man, a 32-year-old woman, and a 12-year-old boy, all of Billerica -- were transported to an area hospital with minor injuries.

At this point no charges have been filed, and no definitive connection has been made between the the incident that left the Maybach damaged and the incident that left the Murano damaged. Police say there is an investigation ongoing. 

Spikes was drafted by the Patriots in the second round in 2010 and spent four years with the team before departing as a free agent and joining the Buffalo Bills last season.

He met with reporters at Gillette Stadium last week for the first time since re-signing with the Patriots and said he had changed since his last stint with the team when he and the coaching staff were not always on the same page.

"We can clearly see that me and 'The Hoodie' kissed and made up," Spikes said. "I’m here, that’s in the past, and I’m moving on."

Spikes signed a one-year deal with New England to provide the team some linebacker depth as it deals with injuries at the position.

That Spikes made it back to New England was just as much a surprise to him as it was anyone who followed his rocky departure from the Patriots and the subsequent shots he took at how coach Bill Belichick ran his operation.

"I was a little bit surprised to hear his voice, the way I left," Spikes said. "I just want to show him I’ve changed as an individual, as a player, as a man. I’m going to just show him; better than just saying it, I’m going to show him."

Spikes was put on season-ending injured reserve in 2013 for what was reportedly not a debilitating injury, but rather a late arrival to a Friday practice.

"I don’t want to get into that," he said last week. "I think we’re both happy that I’m here and we were able to put things aside and let bygones be bygones. We’re all moving forward. The 2015 season is right around the corner and we’re just trying, each and every day, to get better. I’m happy to be home. This was the organization that drafted me, a first-class place. I’m very, very, very appreciative of that."

New York Post salutes Robert Kraft with 'Thank You, Pats' front page

New York Post salutes Robert Kraft with 'Thank You, Pats' front page

That whole Boston-New York rivalry thing gets put aside when it comes to public health and the crisis we all find ourselves in these days.

There's no better example of that than the front page of the New York Post on Saturday morning:

Patriots owner Robert Kraft sent the team plane to China to purchase and bring back 1.7 million N95 protective masks needed to help combat the deadly coronavirus that has hit New York City particularly hard. The Kraft family donated 300,000 masks to New York-area hospitals and they arrived on Friday in a tractor-trailer emblazoned with the Patriots logo. 

In a city that, as Post columnist Mark Cannizarro put it, has "been trained to disdain" everything about the Patriots and Boston teams, it should be a gesture that forever puts Kraft in the New York family: 

Today, however, everyone associated with New York — Jets fans or otherwise — should salute the 78-year-old Kraft, who delivered a deed so special in this frightening and uncertain time of the coronavirus crisis that it should never be forgotten.

Even Jets superfan "Fireman Ed" Anzalone told the Post he has to put the rivalry aside.

“I don’t like his team. They’ve been beating us up for quite some time. But Kraft is just a wonderful guy, so I’m not surprised by his actions.” 


Patriots' Stephon Gilmore disagrees with Rex Ryan's critique of Amari Cooper

Patriots' Stephon Gilmore disagrees with Rex Ryan's critique of Amari Cooper

Former New York Jets and Buffalo Bills head coach Rex Ryan made waves Friday for his harsh critique of Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Amari Cooper.

On ESPN's Get Up, Ryan blasted the Cowboys for signing Cooper to a five-year, $100 million contract this offseason. It's one thing to be critical, but Ryan even went as far as to call Cooper a "turd," which probably isn't the most politically-correct way to evaluate a player.

“I wouldn’t have paid this guy. To me, this is the biggest disappearing act in the National Football League,” Ryan said. “He doesn’t show up on the road. He doesn’t show up against — when the competition’s good, when he’s against the top corners, that guy disappears.

“This is who he is. Doesn’t love football. Hell with it, he stops his routes, he does all this. I wouldn’t have paid this turd. No way in hell. No way in hell would I have paid this guy.”

So yeah, pretty harsh.

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New England Patriots cornerback Stephon Gilmore, who played for Ryan on the Bills from 2015-16, caught wind of his former coach's comments and made it clear he disagrees.

That's some high praise from the two-time first-team All-Pro. Especially after Gilmore locked Cooper down back in November by holding him without a catch.

Both Ryan and Gilmore are entitled to their opinions, but calling Cooper a "turd" was a bit over the line. After all, Cooper is coming off a 2019 season in which he tallied 79 receptions while setting career-highs in both receiving yards (1,189) and touchdowns (eight). Not exactly turd-like.

Anyway, Gilmore definitely has Ryan putting his foot in his mouth after those controversial remarks.

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