The Bills and Eagles pulled off a rare trade on Monday, as the Eagles grabbed backup quarterback Kelly Holcomb and linebacker Takeo Spikes. Spikes, who was to lead a new era of defense in Buffalo, has been limited to 15 games over the last two seasons with a hamstring and an Achilles tendon injury. Holcomb, who was a starter part of the season in 2005, but didn’t see any action last season.
“This is something that has been brewing,” Bills general manager Marv Levy said. “Takeo is a good person, but we wanted to strengthen our defensive tackle. They’ve been looking for a linebacker and I think they wanted an experienced backup quarterback.” The Bills get Eagels veteran defensive tackle Darwin Walker and a conditional draft pick in 2008 to complete the deal. Part of the deal also went along with the fact that Spikes has been grumbling about getting a contract extension. He is set to make $9.5 million over the last two years of his current deal, $4.5 mil this year.
This is a big move for Philly if Spikes can stay healthy enough to stay on the field. The team is weak at the linebacker spot, and the team is really in a flux in that position. They currently have Dhani Jones, Matt McCoy, and Omar Gaither. The team lost Shawn Barber via free agency to the Houston Texans. “Takeo Spikes is a proven playmaker in the National Football League,” Eagles general manager Tom Heckert said. “He has the ability to play all three linebacking positions and were happy to add him to our defense.”
Walker started 15 games and was tied for second on the Eagles with six sacks, and had 56 tackles. He had three sacks in the teams October 8th win in Philly over the Dallas Cowboys, and should give a boost to the Bills D-line. It’s a young line that the team really wanted to upgrade with a vet, and Walker fits the bill.