The New England Patriots and veteran defensive end Andre Carter expressed interest in a reunion last year in August, and the Patriots worked out Carter yesterday, according to ESPN Boston’s Field Yates. Carter and fellow veteran DE Mark Anderson got their careers back on track (well, for one year, anyway) with the New England Patriots for one season in 2011, and their ability to provide pressure (Carter’s excellent run defense was actually just as important) was instrumental to the Patriots success that season. Neither have found much success since then, although Anderson did earn himself a fat contract from the Buffalo Bills before being released after a putrid first year in Buffalo. Carter signed on with the Oakland Raiders, but he was released during the 53-man crackdown.
The Patriots probably didn’t like what they saw out of their backup defensive ends on Sunday, and it’s seemed like the Patriots have had interest in adding a veteran DE throughout the offseason. They flirted with adding John Abraham, and things got really close a couple of times. But nothing came of the negotiations due to Abraham’s asking price, but cost isn’t going to be a problem with Carter. Any deal with Carter would be a cheap one for a maximum of $1 million, and it would obviously be a one-year deal given Carter’s age and injury concerns.
Chandler Jones and Rob Ninkovich are definitely fine as the starters, but the Patriots have issues with the backups. Jake Bequette and Michael Buchanan have promise, but they are both inconsistent due to their incredible rawness. They have a combined three years of experience between them, and Ninkovich is the only DE on the roster who has been in the league for more than two years. Signing Carter would make sense if he is healthy enough to be effective, and the Patriots can help manage his snaps and use him as a decent backup DE who could still provide pressure in a pinch.