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ILB Brandon Spikes signs with Patriots after early 49ers interest

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The inside linebacker market is drying up, with Brandon Spikes signing with New England. But do the 49ers actually need another ILB?

Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

Inside linebacker Brandon Spikes has signed a one-year deal with the New England Patriots, removing one more veteran inside linebacker from the market. This comes nearly two months after San Francisco 49ers general manager Trent Baalke confirmed the team had some interest in Spikes.

At the time Baalke mentioned Spikes, he also said the 49ers had interest in Lance Briggs, Mason Foster and Erin Henderson. Since then, Foster signed with the Chicago Bears, and Henderson re-signed with the Minnesota Vikings. That leaves Briggs as the most notable inside linebacker left on the market.

The 49ers signed Philip Wheeler on the first day of the draft, which followed their signing of Nick Bellore. The Bellore addition is likely a special teams move, but Wheeler seems like the guy who will push Michael Wilhoite for ILB opportunities. The team could still add a veteran, but I would be surprised if that happened barring injuries or other issues.

Head coach Jim Tomsula spoke with the media last week and was not so surprisingly effusive in his praise of the current group of linebackers.

Right now, where we're at, things are really good out there. I'm talking about the guys who are on the field for us. Talking about Michael Wilhoite and NaVorro Bowman, but a guy that's really moving around and feeling the defense in the right way is Nick Moody. I've been pulling for Nick. He's working really hard. He's one of those guys you notice. I'm walking out of here and he's got all of his books. You can just tell. We feel good there. I feel good with the guys who are on the field right now.