Sunday, August 7, 2011
Patriots Keep Making Moves, Set to Sign Andre Carter
This is the most unique time in NFL history since the entire league year has been condensed into a much shorter amount of the calendar.
After signing defensive end Mark Anderson on Friday and defensive tackle Shaun Ellis earlier on Sunday, reports surfaced on Sunday night that the New England Patriots had signed another piece to its defensive line: free agent defensive end Andre Carter.
Welcome to 2011 where Carter announced the news on his Twitter page (@mr_carter99) saying "I am proud to announce that I will be playing for the New England Patriots for the 2011 season. Thanks you for your prayers and support."
With that simple message, the Pats have picked up another player that could potentially play a big role. Now New England's lack of a pass rusher in its 2011 draft class or earlier in free agency doesn't look so bad huh?
Out of the University of California, Carter is 32-years-old and a former first-round pick of the San Francisco 49ers. After five seasons in the Bay (2001-05), he's spent the last five seasons with the Washington Redskins (2006-10) so needless to say, he's probably looking forward to playing for a team that's not terrible and/or a complete mess.
Much like Ellis, one of Carter's greatest assets seems to be his durability. In his 10 NFL seasons, he's played in all 16 games seven times (including the last six seasons). He must have been seriously hurt in 2004 because he only played seven games but other than that, he's played 15 in two others and 16 in the rest.
In 149 career games including 133 starts, Carter has amassed 442 total tackles (340 solo, 102 assists), 66.0 sacks, 15 forced fumbles and four fumble recoveries. He's been in double-digits for sacks three times: 12.5 in 2002 with San Francisco, 10.5 in 2007 with Washington and 11.0 in 2009 in Washington.
Bill Belichick can talk all he wants about how the defensive alignment isn't important but these recent moves (coupled with the addition of Albert Haynesworth) seems to underline the fact that the Patriots will be playing more 4-3 this season than 3-4. With that in mind, Carter is more of a natural fit in a 4-3 in a outside linebacker/defensive end role.
Best of all, these pickups mean that Jermaine Cunningham can get more time to adjust to the rigors of the NFL entering his second season while Eric Moore won't be counted on as much as he was down the stretch last season.
There's also sources saying that New England will release safety Brandon McGowan on Monday. Stay tuned to see if that actually happens.