According to reports, Patriot's fearsome middle linebacker Brandon Spikes has chosen not to participate in the Patriot's off-season workouts. He does plan on being at the team's mandatory mini-camp, which begins on June 11th. According to Boston Herald Patriot's writer Jeff Howe, this is not indicative of any unhappiness from Spikes:
Spikes has been working out on his own, which he feels is the best way to prepare for the upcoming season. The source said Spikes' absence has nothing to do with unhappiness or a statement about his contract, which expires after the 2013 season. Spikes is also healthy.
Spikes is not losing any money by not attending, and apparently feels more comfortable getting started on his own. This seems a bit odd, but odd behaviour has become the norm from Spikes, who has earned a reputation as one of the hardest hitting linebackers in the NFL over the past few years. While he is somewhat of a liability in pass coverage, Spikes is a dominant run stopper and adds a serious element of toughness to the defensive unit.
Spikes has had a number of off-field incidents, mostly surrounding some controversial tweets. He was also suspended in 2010 for PED usage. Heading into a contract year, I think we should expect big things out of Spikes, who may be looking to bolster his free agency value. It will be interesting to see if the Patriots are willing to try and lock up Spikes, or if this is a case where they will let him hit the market without extending themselves financially.