Eagles cut Spikes after one season in Philadelphia
Defensive end Jevon Kearse was let go last Thursday after playing four seasons in Philadelphia. Releasing Spikes saves the Eagles $5 million under the salary cap.
Spikes finished second on the team with 139 tackles in his only season with the Eagles. The 10-year veteran missed the final two games after having shoulder surgery in December.
The 31-year-old Spikes was acquired in a trade with Buffalo last March. Known for being a playmaker throughout his career, Spikes had no interceptions or forced fumbles in Philly.
The move likely means second-year pro Stewart Bradley will take over as the starting middle linebacker while Omar Gaither moves to the weakside spot to replace Spikes. Chris Gocong is the strongside linebacker, giving the Eagles a young group of starters. Akeem Jordan is fourth on the depth chart.
"Takeo did a really good job for us last year," Eagles coach Andy Reid said in a statement. "But we are excited about the young linebackers that have developed over the last year. We wish Takeo all the best. He's a true team player on and off the field."
A first-round pick by Cincinnati in 1998, Spikes had at least 100 tackles in each of his five seasons with the Bengals. But it wasn't until he went to Buffalo in 2003 that he got widespread recognition. Spikes had 144 tackles in '03 and 111 tackles with five interceptions in '04, making the Pro Bowl both years.
Injuries slowed Spikes in 2005 and 2006.
The Eagles have focused on improving their defense in the offseason. Philadelphia signed All-Pro cornerback Asante Samuel when the NFL's free-agency period opened last Friday, luring him away from New England with a six-year deal worth $57 million. A day later, they signed defensive end Chris Clemons.
The team made a run at All-Pro wide receiver Randy Moss earlier this week, offering more money than he got to return to the Patriots. If the Eagles end up satisfying Donovan McNabb's request for an offensive playmaker, it'll probably have to come through a trade. The addition of Samuel makes two-time Pro Bowl cornerback Lito Sheppard expendable, so he can be used as trade bait for a top receiver.
Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press
MORE NFL HEADLINES
- 49ers' Smith won't face felony in airport case
- Sherman: 'Dollars' best way to show respect
- Source: Panthers pick up Newton's option
- Kosar: Concussions cost me broadcasting job
MOST SENT STORIES ON ESPN.COM
2008 FREE AGENCY
NFL teams began shopping for free agents on Feb. 29, with approximately 320 players available. Randy Moss (right), one of the top free agents available, re-signed with the Pats.
• Free-agent tracker
Commentary/Features• Paolantonio: Raiders wasting cash on Hall
• Clayton: Raiders immersed in spending spree
• Yasinskas: Bucs spending wisely
• Third And Short: Free-agent analysis
• Clayton: Best remaining players
• Clayton: Top 10 free-agent gambles
• Yasinskas: Saints rolling dice on Vilma, Morgan
• Sando: Role players cashing in
• Yasinskas: Jets improved, but QB remains issue
• Yasinskas: Browns focused on winning
• Clayton: Moss-Patriots deal meant to be
• Clayton: Winners and losers
• Chadiha: Reese sets the standard for rookie GMs
• Yasinskas: Five aggressive teams in the market
• Pasquarelli: Big payoffs await less-heralded FAs
• Clayton: It's better to keep your own guys
• Research: Top 10 free agents of all time
• Yasinskas: Redskins to try new approach
• Joyner: Evaluating four big names
• Chadiha: Dealing with the franchise tag
• Panthers continue O-line makeover, sign Brown
• Browns help LB depth, sign Orr to 1-year contract March 20
• Pats agree to deal with CB Bryant
• Roundup: Rams re-sign Romberg March 19
• Packers agree with LB Chillar
• Bengals' Andrews signs franchise tender
• Punter Turk re-signs with Texans
• Colts keep defensive end Thomas with new deal
- GameWear Philadelphia Eagles Classic NFL Football Portfolio