Saturday, March 15, 2014

Bills add Spikes, Rivers to help Kiko 'run and hit'


The Buffalo Bills had been planning to move second-year linebacker Kiko Alonso from the inside to the outside this coming season.

Their most recent moves will facilitate that in happening.

Buffalo signed former New England Patriots inside linebacker Brandon Spikes Friday to a one-year deal reportedly worth $3.25 million. Spikes hit the free agent market last Tuesday, but his departure from the Patriots was inevitable.

In adding the big, run-stuffing Spikes, the Bills can now be confident in moving Alonso to the weak side linebacker spot.

As a rookie inside 'backer, Alonso was Buffalo's most productive defensive player last year, playing every single snap while amassing 159 tackles, four interceptions. two sacks and a forced fumble.

Bills general manager Doug Whaley thinks he can only get better in his new digs.

"We think with his athletic ability and his speed and instincts, why limit him by having him take on those big guards, let's cover him up and let him run and hit," Whaley said this week, via

Buffalo also added Keith Rivers, formerly of the New York Giants, to compete for a full play count opposite Alonso.

"He's a four down linebacker," Whaley said of Rivers. "He can play the first and second downs, the typical run downs. He can stay in on third down and cover because he's got athletic ability and then he contributes on teams.

"So that's an incredible value pick for us with a guy who can play four downs. He's going to compete for that starting spot."

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