According to multiple sources, defensive end Andre Carter has signed a one year contract with the New England Patriots. NFL Media insider Ian Rapoport reported that Carter flew to New England late Monday night, and officially signed his contract on Tuesday.
The Patriots signed Carter prior to the 2011 season, and he had much success with the team. In 14 games, Carter recorded 52 tackles, 10 sacks, and 2 forced fumbles. Carter tore his left quadriceps tendon in a December game against the Denver Broncos and missed the final two regular season games.
After departing New England, Carter played the 2012 campaign with the Oakland Raiders. Carter struggled with the Raiders, only recording 19 tackles, and 2.5 sacks, in only 12 games. Carter had re-signed with the Raiders for the 2013 season, but was cut on August 31st.
The Patriots had Carter in for a workout earlier in the month, but left New England without a contract. With the injuries to Vince Wilfork and Jerod Mayo, it is safe to assume that Carter was brought back more for his veteran leadership and less for his actual skills.
Looking at the Patriots roster, Carter figures to take playing time away from Michael Buchanon, who has been the teams right defensive end in nickel and dime packages. Buchanon had two lapses on the field in those packages on third down plays, which resulted in first down rushes by Bengals QB Andy Dalton, and Jets QB Geno Smith.
Andre Carter is no savior, but he will bring a much needed presence to a locker room depleted with injuries. New England hopes they can catch lightning in a bottle twice with Carter, but don’t expect him to put up the same type of numbers he did back in 2011.