Patriots release Brandon Spikes

The New England Patriots have released linebacker Brandon Spikes

The New England Patriots have released linebacker Brandon Spikes the day after his car was found abandoned on an interstate with front-end damage near the site where another vehicle was rear-ended.

The team announced the move via Twitter on Monday morning.

Massachusetts State Police found Spikes' 2011 Mercedes-Maybach with front-end damage about 3:30 a.m. Sunday abandoned in the median of Interstate 495 in Foxborough.

The driver of the vehicle had reported hitting a deer via the OnStar onboard navigation system, a police spokesperson said, but was nowhere to be found when police located the car. There was no deer nearby either, the police reported.

But it just so happens that troopers responded to another report in the same area along I-495 a short time later that a Nissan Murano had been rear-ended by an unseen vehicle. Three passengers -- a 52-year-old man, a 32-year-old woman and a 12-year-old boy -- were treated at a hospital for minor injuries, authorities say.

Police are investigating whether the two incidents are related. They say they have contacted Spikes but so far haven't established a connection. No charges have been filed.

Spikes has not reponded to messages from the Associated Press.

The Patriots picked Spikes in the second round of the 2010 draft. After four years in New England -- during which time he allegedly appeared in a sex tape and also was suspended four games for violating the league's policy on performance-enhancing substances -- Spikes went to Buffalo last season. He rejoined the Patriots in May.

Twitter: @chewkiii

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7:42 a.m.: This post was updated with the fact that the Patriots announced they had released Spikes.

This post originally was published at 7:09 a.m.

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