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DE Andre Carter to sign with the New England Patriots today

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Jared Wickerham

ESPN’s Josina Anderson reports that free agent defensive end Andre Carter intends to sign with the New England Patriots today. Carter formerly played 14 games with the Pats in 2011, totaling 52 tackles, 10 sacks, and 2 forced fumbles. This earned Carter a Pro Bowl nod, despite a season-ending quadriceps injury in late December.

After a relatively subpar 2012 season with the Oakland Raiders, the Patriots worked out the 13-year veteran earlier this year, but chose not to sign him. It is probably fair to assume that he still is not back to his 2011 form, a year in which he was a three-down player, but he still should be able to contribute in limited action.

Rookie defensive end Michael Buchanan has been used in both dime and nickel packages this season but has not been able to generate a consistent pass rush. The inability to get to the quarterback on third downs is one thing that must improve. I'm sure that Bill Belichick thinks that Carter is an improvement if he plays in that role.

Also, the injuries of Vince Wilfork and Jerod Mayo leave a gaping hole in the front seven when it comes to leadership. Even though Carter wasn't a captain in 2011, he did establish himself as a veteran presence on the team. A player with his amount of experience can only help a roster, and it could also assist in some of the young player's development over the course of the year.