Going along with what I had been hinting at since the signing of Greg Manusky as the Chargers new Defensive Coordinator, Takeo Spikes agree to a three-year contract with San Diego. Different from what I expected, however, are the rumors that Spikes has been signed to be the starting ILB next to Kevin Burnett in the middle of the Chargers 3-4 defense.
I had picked out Spikes as someone that was familiar with, and succeeded in, Manusky's system when in San Francisco. At 34 years old (and turning 35 in December), I have my doubts about if Spikes will be a top-tier ILB this season and also for two seasons afterward. I want to be the first to point out that, although A.J. Smith compared this signing to that of Randall Godfrey, Godfrey was 34 years old when he retired. If Spikes were to start losing a step too much, or have issues staying healthy, not many would be surprised. I have been wrong before, though.
Last season, Spikes started all 16 games for the 49ers. He totaled 108 tackles, 3 interceptions, 9 defended passes and 1 fumble recovery. He also served as a mentor of sorts to young star Patrick Willis during his tenure in the bay area. Another season like that would be welcomed in San Diego, and an improvement over Stephen Cooper's performance in the last two years.
This can also be considered a nail in the coffin for any hope of the Chargers bringing in ex-Packers ILB Nick Barnett.