Just when everyone was starting to think that the Patriots forgot that they had free agents, they made a move. ESPN.com’s Mike Reiss reported that the Pats have given long snapper Danny Aiken, the team’s only restricted free agent, a one-year deal.
Aiken has been with the team since 2011, when he was claimed off waivers from the Buffalo Bills to act as a long snapper and emergency tight end. He recorded four tackles in 2013.
Today also all but confirmed something that many people suspected: Brandon Spikes will most likely not be returning to the Pats in his free agency. The linebacker fell out with the team toward the end of the season when he was put on season-ending injured reserve prior to the playoffs. It was speculated that the move was made when Spikes missed a team meeting when his car got stuck in snow. Spikes insisted that it was because of the knee injury that plagued him all season, but that the decision was not mutual.
Spikes said on NFL Network’s “NFL AM” Friday morning that “both sides could benefit from a fresh start,” but that he would “never say never” to a return to New England. Given the fact that the Patriots have made other free agents more of a priority than Spikes, it seems unlikely that the two will come to terms, especially not before the free agent market opens.
The Patriots have until Saturday at noon to have exclusive negotiating rights to their unrestricted free agents. After that, they get to hit the market starting at 4 p.m. on Tuesday.