Not a single free man escaped the North to enslave himself in the South during the short history of the Underground Railroad. On Monday, a linebacker who dubbed his time with the New England Patriots “4 years a slave” re-signed with his former master.
Kunta Kinte does not approve.
Brandon Spikes signed a one-year deal with New England on Monday. This reunion follows a season stint in Buffalo during which Spikes appeared to burn any bridges back to Foxboro.
“Great games on the schedule for 2014,” Spikes tweeted in April of 2014, “but it’s going to be like Christmas to hand the #Patriots #PatriotsNation a L…twice! #BILLSMAFIA.” He boasted about realizing bad intentions toward Patriot players and denigrated the team’s fan base: “I’m deff gonna knock out a bish!!!” he tweeted, adding: “Busy blocking every single #MassHole.”
The Patriots defeated Spikes and the Bills 37-22 in their first meeting in 2014. After twelve straight losses at Gillette Stadium, Buffalo emerged triumphant in the final week of the season, when Tom Brady sat the second half and six other Patriots starters, including Rob Gronkowski, watched the whole game in street clothes. Spikes recorded zero tackles, his first no-show on the stat sheet all season, in the anticlimactic pre-playoff game.
Further demonstrating that Bill Belichick means all business, the Patriots signed the effective run stopper on Monday. The coach has traded and released loyal players repeatedly over the years. Monday’s signing represents another example, after the Darrelle Revis acquisition last offseason, of the coach taking on a player who has taken him to task publicly in the past.
Terms of the agreement remain unreported. But during the big linebacker’s “4 years a slave” the Patriots paid him more than $3 million, including a $900,000
slavery signing bonus.
Spikes offered a more meek, muted response to his free-agency landing spot this year than he did before joining Buffalo last season. The Twitter account went silent 24 hours ago. That’s the Patriot Way.
In 2010, before realizing he had been tricked into bondage by Belichick, Spikes appeared ecstatic about playing for the Patriots. “He’s extremely pleased,” his agent then told the Boston Herald. “He’s ready to go play football and be a good Patriot.”