According to his twitter account, the New England Patriots have added another veteran free agent pass rusher - long time Redskins and 49ers defensive end Andre Carter:
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.
Carter, 32, had a down year for the Redskins in 2010. He was slow in the transition to 3-4 outside linebacker (left side), recording just 2.5 sacks and 44 tackles in 16 games (5 starts). However, in 2009, Carter picked up 11.0 sacks as a 4-3 right defensive end.
For the Patriots, Carter would likely be primarily used as a pass rush specialist on third downs with his hand in the dirt. At 6'4", 257 lbs, he has the size and characteristics to play 3-4 outside linebacker (would probably be more comfortable on the right side). However, based on his experiment with the team at that position last year, my guess would be that he is limited in that role.
Still, this seems like another solid move for the Patriots, assuming the deal is a reasonable cost and length. Carter isn't that old. He has a chance to revert to his 2009 form - especially if used in the right role. If he doesn't pan out, the Patriots could simply release him and move on.
Adding Carter and the recently signed veterans Shaun Ellis and Mark Anderson to the mix, gives the Patriots a variety of different options to play around with in the pass rush. Hopefully, for the team, one of these guys can pull through and be a solid contributor.