2013 NFL free agency: Should the Cardinals pursue Takeo Spikes?

Harry How

The veteran inside linebacker that has never been to a playoff game is now on the open market.

On Thursday, the San Diego Chargers announced that they released long time NFL inside linebacker, Takeo Spikes. A first-round selection out of Auburn in 1998, the 36 year-old Spikes does not appear ready to hang it up yet and will seek an opportunity elsewhere in the NFL. Should the Arizona Cardinals have interest?

The Cardinals suddenly have a hole at the inside linebacker position. Daryl Washington and Reggie Walker are under contract, but the team recently cut Stewart Bradley and Paris Lenon is an unrestricted free agent. That means that they will need to find someone to take his spot or re-sign him.

The problem with Spikes, much like Lenon, is his age. Many question if he can still produce at a high level. Last season, he played in all 16 games for the Chargers and received a positive run defense grade from Pro Football Focus, but a negative pass defense grade. Still, Spikes did have 78 combined tackles last season in 715 snaps.

If anything, the Cardinals can give Walker a chance to start next to Washington and let Spikes be the backup to them. He is a durable player that rarely misses tackles and is hungry to reach his first career postseason game. Depending on how much Lenon is asking for, Spikes could be a viable option to replace him and start if called upon. That way, the Cardinals can draft an ILB in a later round and let him learn behind an outstanding veteran for a year or two.

What do you think? Takeo Spikes to the Arizona Cardinals? Tell us in the comments section below.

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