Ever since the days of Mike Vrabel, Richard Seymour and Willie McGinest, the New England Patriots haven't had a true pass-rusher—well, they did this season.
While playing just 14 games as his season was cut short due to a quad injury, Andre Carter tallied up an impressive 10 sacks while compiling 52 tackles and forcing two fumbles.
In just his first season as a Patriot, there's no doubt that Carter fit in New England's newly designed 4-3 defensive scheme.
However, now the question is: Should the Patriots bring back the 32-year-old?
If Bill Belichick does choose to continue with his 4-3 defensive scheme, it would only make sense that Carter would be a key component to it.
According to the Boston Globe, it is believed that Carter will be willing to take a hometown discount with the Patriots as he gelled so perfectly with New England.
Year after year, the Patriots are always in search of a pass-rusher, but finally in 2011 Belichick found his guy and he cannot afford to let him slip.
Granted, if Carter doesn't actually want to take a hometown discount, Belichick does have some other options in not only the free-agent market, but via the draft with his two picks in the first and second rounds.
However, the time to win is now for the Patriots, as Tom Brady does not have too many years left in him and Carter is a proven fit in New England's rather complex defense.
From my understanding, Carter appears like he's a great locker room presence and would actually be willing to take a hometown discount. I suppose we'll just have to wait and see what Carter's future with the Patriots is come March 13 when free agency officially begins.
Be sure to check out Tony Santorsa's blog: PatriotsPlus