Andre Carter‘s renaissance 2011 season came to an end far too early.
After racking up 52 tackles and 10 sacks in just 13 games, Carter fell victim
to a torn quadriceps muscle that ended his would-be career year.
With a new season underway, Carter is getting a chance to prove he’s
healthy and can still be an impact player. The Oakland Raiders agreed to terms
with Carter on a one-year deal on Wednesday, according to Pro Football Talk, offering
the 33-year-old defensive end a fresh start and a return home.
Entering his 12th season in the NFL, the San Jose, Calif. native
returns back to the Bay Area, where he also spent his first four seasons with
the 49ers. This time, he turns his attention to improving an underperforming
Oakland defense desperately seeking an answer on the outside.
Carter joins former Patriots lineman Richard Seymour along the Raiders’
defensive front and should help strengthen a pass rush that’s managed just three
sacks this season.
The explosive Carter will likely take over for underperforming third-year
end Lamarr Houston, who has yet to register a sack one season after managing a
single sack in 16 games. Instead, Carter should pair with fellow end Matt
Shaughnessy, who has half (1.5) of the Raiders three sacks this season, to form
a formidable presence off the edge.
The Patriots had multiple opportunities to bring back the explosive
pass rusher, but instead chose to go with a younger corps that included rookie
first-rounder Chandler Jones, third-year end Jermaine Cunningham and veteran
Rob Ninkovich. New England likely won’t miss Carter terribly, as they’ve seen
promise out of their line already, but without much to show for their effort —
just three sacks as a team this season — Carter’s production could have
Carter’s uncertain health will certainly be a key to his success in
Oakland this season. But for a defense that ranks 23rd in total defense, it was
well worth the risk.