Report: Bobby Carpenter Expected Back in New England After Patriots Cut Terrell McClain

Terrell McClain, we hardly knew you.

The Panthers' 2011 third-round pick stuck around in New England even shorter than he was in Carolina. Tom Curran from CSNNE.com tweeted that McClain was released on Tuesday by the Patriots.

 

McClain lasted just one season with the Panthers and just one game with the Patriots. He played sixteen snaps for New England on Sunday against the Bills according to ESPN Boston, with all of those coming in the last two drives when the Patriots were already well ahead.

That open roster spot will be filled by linebacker Bobby Carpenter, who was with the team in training camp. Curran was also the first to report on Carpenter's return, while Mary Paoletti confirmed it.

 

 

Andy Hart of Patriots Football Weekly had a premonition about the signing on Monday evening.

 

Carpenter was a surprise cut by the Patriots in August after spending most of training camp and the preseason running with the Patriots' first and second units. When Dont'a Hightower stepped into the starting strong-side linebacker position almost immediately, it eliminated any chance of Carpenter having a full time role with the Patriots.

With Hightower nursing a hamstring injury, this could promote Carpenter into the starting role on Sunday against the Broncos. The Patriots' other option would be to move Rob Ninkovich to strong-side linebacker, where he played last year, and start Jermaine Cunningham at defensive end.

Carpenter can play all three linebacker positions and could immediately step in as New England's best linebacker in coverage. He's entering his seventh season in the NFL. Carpenter's father, Rob Carpenter played running back for the Giants while Bill Belichick was an assistant in New York.

In the flurry of Patriots transactions, they also reportedly cut practice squad offensive lineman Thomas Austin according to Field Yates from ESPN Boston.

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