Dec 1, 2013; Houston, TX, USA; New England Patriots defensive end Andre Carter (96) on the sidelines against the Houston Texans at Reliant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

New England Patriots Free Agent Profile: Andre Carter, Will Svitek

Dec 8, 2013; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots tackle Will Svitek (74) on the sideline during the second quarter against the Cleveland Browns at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Stew Milne-USA TODAY Sports

Will Svitek and Andre Carter both played key roles for the New England Patriots last season, although in very quiet fashions. Svitek stepped in for injured tackle Marcus Cannon towards the end of the season, and performed quite well. His play just proves that Bill Belichick’s ability to build a roster full of depth is important, as protecting Tom Brady is probably the most important thing New England has to do throughout the year.

Carter’s impact can’t be seen on the stat sheet, but based on everything that was reported out of the locker room, his leadership was important to this team. Carter totaled a mere four tackles, and two sacks in 2013, but having a veteran guy help out the young defensive line was definitely key for the Pats. After Vince Wilfork and Tommy Kelly went down early in the season, there were rookies left and right on the inside, and even though New England finished ranked 30th in the league against the run, they would have done even worse if Carter wasn’t there.

I doubt Carter will be back next year, simply because of his age. He has kept in shape throughout his career, but age isn’t kind to NFL players, and it may be time for him to hang up his helmet. I would like to see Svitek back, because you can never have enough quality depth at the tackle position.

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Tags: Andre Carter New England Patriots NFL Free Agency Will Svitek

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