Will Andre Carter Be a New England Patriot in 2012?

Oliver ThomasContributor IJune 7, 2012

FOXBORO, MA - OCTOBER 16:  Andre Carter #93 of the New England Patriots encourages his teammates in the second half against the Dallas Cowboys on October 16, 2011 at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Massachusetts. The New England Patriots defeated the Dallas Cowboys 20-16.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Elsa/Getty Images

Veteran defensive end Andre Carter is not under contract with the New England Patriots, but he was seen at Gillette Stadium on Wednesday, according to Mike Reiss of ESPNBoston.com.

In 2011, the 33-year-old pass-rusher was voted to the Pro Bowl after amassing 52 tackles, 10 sacks and two forced fumbles in his first season with the Patriots. However, a torn left quadriceps tendon ended his season in Week 17 against the Denver Broncos.

Jeff Howe of the Boston Herald discussed the Carter sighting on Twitter this Thursday:

Andre Carter was indeed here at Gillette yesterday, according to a source. He was seeing the medical staff and is ahead of rehab schedule.

— Jeff Howe (@jeffphowe) June 7, 2012

Receiving treatment from the Patriots staff does not necessarily mean the former Cal Bear is going to re-sign with the team. Yet, any news on Carter is good news at this point.

Prior to April's NFL draft, Carter shared his thoughts with CSNNE.com's Tom Curran about his future with the Patriots:

"Your guess is as good as mine," Carter said Tuesday when asked if he knew the Patriots plans for him. "They kind of just said, 'Thanks for everything,' at the end of the year and I haven't heard from them since. But I'm optimistic everything works out."

To speculate on what the 12-year pro said, it appears as though he would welcome a return to New England. After all, Carter hasn't been able to enjoy many Super Bowl appearances during his NFL career.

Andre Carter's injury on Dec. 18 put his future in doubt.
Andre Carter's injury on Dec. 18 put his future in doubt.Patrick Smith/Getty Images


Foxsports.com data indicates that—aside from the Pats—the 6'4", 255-pound Carter has played for just three playoff teams—the 2001 San Francisco 49ers, the 2002 49ers and the 2007 Washington Redskins.

If Carter wants to experience another Super Bowl run in 2012, there's few better teams to do it with than the Patriots.

With that said, there have been several key offseason additions along the defensive line which have dwindled Carter's odds of returning. Jonathan Fanene, Trevor Scott, first-round draft pick Chandler Jones and third-round choice Jake Bequette have all been brought in to bolster the pass rush.

Following the release of defensive end/outside linebacker Markell Carter, tight end Nick Mellilo, offensive lineman Jon Opperud, wide receiver Chad Ochocinco and the free-agent signing of tight end Bo Scaife, the Patriots now have 87 players on the 90-man roster.

I asked Jeff Howe if he thought these transactions would have any impact on Andre Carter:


Nope RT @OThomas92: @jeffphowe Do you think that is partly why Markell Carter was released? To open up an extra space for Andre Carter?

— Jeff Howe (@jeffphowe) June 7, 2012


Whether or not Andre Carter fills one of the remaining spots remains to be seen. Yet as ESPN Boston points out, his No. 93 jersey has not been assigned to another player.