Before New England Patriots fans gets excited about Andre Carter signing with the team, let’s step back and look at the reality of the situation. Yes, he is a big name and was productive in his last stop here. But now is most likely a different story.
Everyone remembers Carter’s storybook 2011 season with the Patriots. He recorded 10 sacks in the regular season, which is the highest that any pass rusher has recorded for the Patriots in quite some time. The playoffs were a different story, however, as Carter tore his quadriceps in the 2011 AFC Divisional Game. He was subsequently placed on injured reserve.
Carter unsurprisingly found little-to-no suitors that offseason. He was almost 33-years-old and coming off of a debilitating injury. Many NFL general managers believed that Carter’s torn quad had sapped his speed and explosiveness. It took until late September of the 2012 season for Carter to finally find a home. He signed with the Oakland Raiders for the remainder of that season, but in 12 games, Carter recorded just 2.5 sacks as a sub-package pass rusher.
Despite Carter’s lack of production in 2012, he re-signed with the Raiders for the 2013 season. Nothing was really expected from the banged up 34-year-old pass rusher, and Carter proved the doubters right, as he was released at final cuts.
Carter’s next sign of NFL life came in a workout for the Patriots on September 9. Bill Belichick opted against signing Carter then, likely for the same reasons that Carter was cut by Raiders GM Reggie McKenzie. However, Carter was brought back and signed just two days ago.
Something clearly changed between now and September 9, but Belichick wouldn’t wait over a month to bring in a player that he really wanted. Truth is, Carter is simply a veteran who knows the defense. That is all.
Philip Alexander is a New England Patriots writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @steely0906, “like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.