Mutual Interest Between Takeo Spikes and the San Francisco 49ers

There is mutual interest between Spikes and the 49ers.

There is mutual interest between Spikes and the 49ers.

The 2010 San Francisco 49ers were a team in transition. In what would end up being the final year of a decade of struggles, many veterans ended up parting ways after then head coach Mike Singletary was fired.

For Takeo Spikes, leaving was somewhat bittersweet. He loved his time in San Francisco, but also knew the franchise was moving in another direction. Young linebacker NaVorro Bowman was ready to take over next to Patrick Willis in what would end up becoming the best inside linebacker tandem in the NFL.

At that time, expectations in San Francisco were a bit muted. Under the leadership of new head coach Jim Harbaugh, it appeared the franchise was going to be rebuilding once again. While we know how that turned out, Spikes wanted an opportunity to earn his first trip to the postseason. The 2011 San Diego Chargers afforded him a better opportunity at that elusive playoff appearance.

Spikes and the 49ers both decided to move in another direction.

The now 15-year veteran had two really good seasons in San Diego and still has something left in the tank after all these years.

We are hearing through sources close to both Spikes and San Francisco that there is mutual interest in a return to Northern California. These sources indicate that while nothing is imminent, both sides will kick the tires on a possible reunion the closer we get to the regular season. After all, Spikes is a grizzled veteran who doesn’t really need to see preseason action. San Francisco could sign him immediately prior to the opener and slot him in as a backup to both Willis and Bowman.

We do hear that Spikes would rather be given an opportunity to start, which wouldn’t happen in San Francisco. The issue here is that Spikes is running out of opportunities and would rather play for a winner.

What’s the point of starting for a team like the Oakland Raiders, who has a minimal chance of earning a playoff spot?

If Spikes finds a starting opportunity for a contending team, he’s likely to pass on a possible reunion with the 49ers. If not, the two could come to an agreement in relatively short order.

Complicating things a bit further, Larry Grant is suspended for the first four games of the 2013 regular season for violating NFL’s substance abuse policy. He was not re-signed by San Francisco during the offseason, but did act as its primary back at inside linebacker over the past two seasons. In reality, Grant was one of the better backup linebackers in the leagues over the course of those last two years.

San Francisco could realistically retain him after he serves that four-game suspension, in which case interest in Spikes would end.

The 49ers are currently in the midst of a training camp battle for the backup inside linebacker position. Michael Wilhoite has been extremely impressive during the first two preseason games and has had himself quite a nice little training camp. He’s competing with rookie Nick Moody as well as Nathan Stupar for that backup role.

According to our sources, if San Francisco decides Spikes or Grant would represent an upgrade; it will sign one of them.


Vincent is the head sports editor at eDraft, co-host of eDraft Sports Radio (which airs every Monday and Wednesday from 3-6 p.m. ET) and a fantasy writer for Pro Football Focus. He’s also the news director here at PFC and co-host of Football Debate Central with Ryan Riddle every Wednesday. He’s also a former league-wide featured columnist at Bleacher Report. 



  1. MichaelJSenno says

    The niners are stacked at ILB.  They’re not getting Spikes.  Was your source Takeo’s agent?

  2. Why, why why? We have great starters and whilhite et al are up and coming.
    Why not get another veteran wr, we can’t draft them to save our life! As it is we will probably cut guys this year that will do well if not excel on other teams. With the politics as they are , we will be stuck with aj Jenkins , just to make sure he isn’t called Baalkes folly again this year ( which actually proves the point, heck hall had 2 catches against kc, 2 more then the first rounders first year, playoffs and 2nd preseason) we need to get better scouts or just admit we aren’t too good at drafting wrs and consult with Jerry rice or somebody. With all these draft choices you would think they could package something up and do a Julio jones type trade up.

  3. 4949centennial says

    MichaelJSenno Yeah, this article doesn’t seem to have any valid source other than word of mouth. Wilhoite has been extremely impressive. He could start for most other teams.  They also  some of the backups (and backups to backups) to play for ST. I’m  not sure if Spikes wants to play ST at his age. 
    Also Spikes never made it to playoffs. If he was so good why wouldn’t San Diego want him back?  I hope he stays away from Niners and signs with Seattle or something.

  4. Stacked doesn’t necessarily mean good. Hell, they are stacked at WR. He is a proven commodity with PLENTY left in the tank. As a backup and to head our special teams, I’d sign him in a NY minute!

  5. MichaelJSenno Mike I have to disagree with you buddy, if Willis or Bowman go down with a long injury (God forbid) In the regular season i think we would be in a bit of trouble!

  6. Love Spikes, he was a great Niner, he did play very well in SD and probably does have something left. Hard to see how there’s room for him on the roster now, though. Any spare roster spots would probably be spent on our areas of uncertainty – WR and DB. Wish him the best wherever he lands – or second best, should he play against SF!

  7. HeadHunter80 says

    Spikes would be a nice pick up given the fact that he has great leadership alongside Phillis. With bowman Willis spikes Stupar,skuta, wholite, smith haralason lemoniar n brooks. I doubt the opposing teams would get plus 10 yards rushing

  8. We’d have been better off getting smith who ate up Baalkes folly, aj Jenkins. Hall has 2 more catches in that game than aj has his entire career. Instead of spikes ( so he can back up the 2 best I lbs in the league) how about trading back for constanzo. Our st stink. Or another veteran wr so we can stop being on the bottom for 3rd downs! Obviously we don’t know how to draft wrs.