This post was written by Matt Hamm
Linebacker Takeo Spikes has played his last season with the 49ers and will play his 14th season with Chargers. Spikes bolted to San Diego after three seasons with the 49ers. Early in the off-season it seemed like Spikes along with Alex Smith were virtual locks to return to the team. Spikes did say the 49ers have called but that their interest is decidedly lower than the other teams. Before Spikes signed when asked if he thought his days were over in SF he replied “Yes, didn’t have a choice”.
Spikes was 2nd on the team to Patrick Willis in tackles last season and tied for the lead in INTs in what was one of if not the best season of his career. The 49ers letting Spikes walk is a bad move.
One thing the 49ers have that’s better than any other team in the NFL is it’s inside linebacker (ILB) group. Navarro Bowman may be talented and I understand the organizations desire to get him on the field but letting go one of the best ILBs in the league doesn’t make sense. The 49ers brass has said many times this off-season that they feel they only need to tweak the roster and could be competitive now with a new coaching staff in place. If that’s true, getting rid of a veteran leader like Takeo Spikes will go down as the biggest mistake of the 2011 off-season for the 49ers. Nose tackle Aubrayo Franklin is likely to get a huge contract and leave the team. Getting rid of 2/3 of the middle of the defense could be devastating.