I don't the extensive details of Andre Carter's injury, nor do I understand exactly how much money he wanted from the Patriots or how feasible the demand was under the salary cap.
That being said, I still think the Patriots made a mistake by not signing Andre Carter.
Even if his recovery from the torn quad would lessen his impact for the first half of the season, he proved last year just how valuable he can be. He's a physical freak, and he muscled his way to 10 sacks and 52 tackles last year, and I'd argue he was the team's defensive MVP.
Obviously, a torn quad will have him slowed down a bit for his first few games, but with rookie Chandler Jones starting at defensive end, it would benefit the team tremendously to insert a player of Carter's caliber midseason to help prevent that rookie wall from slowing down Jones. Plus, for as strong as Jones has looked at times through the preseason and first two weeks, he was a no-show on Sunday night against the Ravens, very much looking like a rookie who has a ton to learn. You could do worse than to have Carter mentor your young D-end.
And to borrow an old cliche, you can never have enough talent. A season-ending injury to anyone is always just a play away, and the depth behind Jones and Rob Ninkovich is lacking, to say the least.
We don't know a lot about the situation, but we do know that when Carter went down in Week 15 in Denver last year, the defense lost its best player. They made it to the Super Bowl, but is there any doubt that a player like Carter could have made one play that made the difference? They didn't have him last year, and now they won't have him this year. In a game that can often be decided by one big play, the Patriots are without a game-changer.
There is little doubt that Andre Carter was on his way to being the Patriots' defensive MVP last year, until he tore his quad in Week 15 in Denver.
The thought was that Carter, who remained with the team throughout their Super Bowl run while rehabbing, would be back with the Patriots and again wreak havoc on opposing quarterbacks in 2012.
But, for whatever reason, that has not been the case.
While the Patriots could use a veteran leader and sack-machine, they don’t necessarily need him – not right now.
Chandler Jones has been solid as a rookie pass-rusher, and should only improve as the season goes on. Then there is the devastating trio of linebackers in Brandon Spikes, Jerod Mayo and rookie Dont’a Hightower.
As the season plays out, the Patriots will have their bumps and bruises along the way. That would be the time to go get Andre Carter, if he still wants to play. For right now, they should be just fine.