New England Patriots' Markell Carter Reportedly Released in a Surprise Move

Kyle CormierContributor IIIJune 7, 2012

FOXBORO, MA - SEPTEMBER 1:   James Brewer #73 of the New York Giants battles  Markell Carter #49 of the New England Patriots in the second half at Gillette Stadium on September 1, 2011 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
Jim Rogash/Getty Images

In a surprise move, the New England Patriots have informed defensive end/outside linebacker Markell Carter he will be released, according to Mike Reiss of ESPN Boston.

Carter was expected to have the opportunity to compete for playing time as a pass-rusher, but with the addition of free-agent Trevor Scott, the drafting of Chandler Jones and Jake Bequette as well as the possibility of bringing back Andre Carter, the Patriots apparently have seen it best to give Markell Carter a chance to hook on somewhere else.

Carter was a 6th-round draft pick of the Patriots just a year ago, and was making significant strides by all indications. According to Jeff Howe, formerly of NESN, Carter had put on 20 pounds and was tipping the scales at 275, closer to the size the Patriots want in their edge-rushers.

Reiss also reported last December that Carter had received a significant raise even though he was on the practice squad. The practice squad minimum is $96,000, Carter received $306,000.

So either someone else tried adding him to their 53-man roster and New England needed to entice Carter to stay, or the Patriots were so pleased with him that they decided to pay him triple what they needed to. Both scenarios bode well for Carter.

The odd part is that, even if the Patriots felt good about what they had in the other pass-rushers on the roster, why not bring Carter to training camp and see how he stacks up?

Having too many good players at a position is never a problem, and injuries are a sure thing in the National Football League. The only other possibility is that the Patriots fell out of love with Carter's abilities very quickly, which seems odd after everything we have heard previously.