Eagles Get Linebacker Help; Walker To Buffalo

In a move to help bolster their linebacking corps, the Eagles acquired two-time Pro Bowler Takeo Spikes from the Buffalo Bills. In exchange, the Eagles parted with Darwin Walker and a conditional draft pick.

All day, rumors of a deal between the Eagles and Buffalo Bills were making the rounds. By night fall, it appeared that things were getting very serious and later in the night, it was a done deal. The move sends DT Darwin Walker and a conditional pick in the 2008 Draft to Buffalo for Takeo Spikes and QB Kelly Holcomb, both of whom are entering their 10th NFL season.

"Takeo Spikes is a proven playmaker in the National Football League," said general manager Tom Heckert. "He has the ability to play all three linebacking positions and we're happy to add him to our defense. Likewise, Kelly Holcomb is also a proven veteran who will add depth behind Donovan McNabb and A.J. Feeley."

Spikes was a Pro Bowl selection in both 2003 and 2004 and split his time in the NFL between Cincinnati - the team that originally drafted him in the first round of the 1998 Draft - and Buffalo, where he played since 2003. In 2004, Spikes pulled down a career-high five interceptions to go with three sacks and 111 tackles in what was the best overall season of his career. This past season, he played in 12 games for Buffalo, getting a late start to the season thanks to an Achilles tendon injury that he suffered during the 2005 season. In his 12 games last year, he registered 76 tackles and one sack.

Spikes played his college ball at Auburn, but left after his junior season to enter the NFL. In 1997 he received All-America honors and was named the national defensive player of the year by various publications.

Kelly Holcomb is more than just a throw-in part of the deal. He gives the Eagles another veteran backup and some insurance should Donovan McNabb get hurt.
Holcomb gives the Eagles another veteran quarterback to add to the mix and some insurance against another injury to Donovan McNabb. The 33 year old Holcomb has played for four different teams - Buffalo, Cleveland, Indianapolis and Tampa Bay - in his career. Most of his playing time came in Cleveland where he played from 2001 to 2004 and appeared in 19 games with 12 starts for the Browns. In his career, he has completed 523 of 810 pass attempts for 5,401 yards and 37 touchdowns.

The Eagles have had some concerns about their linebacking spot and looked to improve through free agency or the draft. When free agency didn't bring them any help, they looked to other options and found the Bills dangling Spikes. The trade lessens recent talk that the Eagles might take a linebacker with their first round pick, but the possibility is still there as they look to groom a replacement for Jeremiah Trotter, who has started to show some wear and tear.

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