BOSTON (CBS) — If the Patriots plan on making a play for free agent defensive end Andre Carter, their time may be running out.
The defensive end was among the most valuable members of the Patriots’ defense last season, recording 10 sacks, 31 solo tackles and 52 total tackles in 14 games (though really, it was more like 13 games, as he was injured in the first quarter in Week 15). It was the fourth time in his 11-year career that he’s reached double digits in sacks.
However, at 33 years old and coming off a torn quadriceps muscle, the market for Carter has been quiet. Earlier this summer, Carter and the Patriots were reportedly “far apart” on contract terms, and nothing’s been reported since.
The Patriots drafted Chandler Jones in the first round, and his preseason debut was certainly impressive, but the potential loss of Carter and Mark Anderson (signed with the Bills) would take away 20 of the Patriots’ 40 sacks last season. No other player on the roster recorded more than Vince Wilfork’s 3.5 sacks.
Carter did offer words of encouragement to Jones, his potential replacement, on Twitter this summer.
“I’m looking forward to watching you,” Carter tweeted to Jones, in a conversation that’s curiously been deleted. “Make sure you listen to the vets.”
It looks, at least at this point, that Carter won’t be one of those vets lending advice to the rookie.
Update, 3:43 p.m.: The Boston Herald’s Jeff Howe reported this afternoon that Carter “still lacks burst and explosion” and that he’s “not close to being ready to play.”