Welcome Shaun Ellis and Andre Carter and welcome back, Gerard Warren
|08.08.11 at 2:01 pm ET|
FOXBORO — After agreeing to terms over the weekend with several veteran players, the Patriots officially announced the signing of veteran free agent defensive ends Shaun Ellis and Andre Carter while bringing back defensive lineman Gerard Warren, a member of the 2010 Patriots. Ellis and Carter were at practice on Monday with Carter practicing, and wearing No. 68, while Ellis stood by and watched in shorts and a t-shirt.
Ellis, 6-5, 290 pounds, is a veteran of 11 NFL seasons with the New York Jets. Originally drafted in the first round (12th overall) by the Jets in the 2000 NFL Draft out of Tennessee, Ellis has started in 156 of 170 career regular season games and accumulated 552 total tackles, 72.5 sacks, 17 passes defensed, one interception, 13 forced fumbles and five fumble recoveries. Ellis was an immediate impact player for the Jets as a rookie, recording 8.5 sacks.
‘Certainly Shaun has played a lot of good football against us,” Pats coach Bill Belichick said. “He’s been a very productive player, durable, very consistent. It seems like every time we play him, he lines up there and we have a hard time with him. I’m glad we had an opportunity to add him to our team. I think he brings a really good presence in terms of his leadership and professionalism, as well as experience, and his style of play and performance.’
Ellis, who has earned two Pro Bowl berths (2003, 2009), had his two best statistical seasons in 2003 and 2004 when he registered a career-high 12.5 sacks followed by 11.0 sacks. Last season for the Jets, he started 15 games and finished with 36 total tackles, 4.5 sacks and one forced fumble. He also played in three postseason games and registered 2.0 sacks in a postseason game against the Patriots.
Carter, 6-4, 255 pounds, is a veteran of 10 NFL seasons with the San Francisco 49ers (2001-05) and the Washington Redskins (2006-09). Carter originally entered the NFL as a first round draft pick (7th overall) of the 49ers in 2001 out of California. He was signed by Washington as an unrestricted free agent on March 15, 2006.
‘I’d say a lot of the same characteristics [as Ellis],” Belichick said of Carter. “Andre is a player I spent a lot of time with prior to him coming out in the  draft. Of course, he was five years in San Francisco and five years in Washington. I think he’s another high-quality individual, very professional, works hard, very well-conditioned athlete. He’s had a lot of production throughout his career. Last year when Washington went to the 3-4 defense, it kind of wasn’t a good fit for him in that system. But we feel like what we’ll ask him to do this year, relative to what he was asked to do last year, and what we’ve seen him do the first nine years of his career, that we could use his ability on the edge.’
Carter has played in 149 career games with 133 starts and has accumulated 517 total tackles, 66 sacks, 30 passes defensed, 15 forced fumbles and four fumble recoveries. He has registered double-digit sack totals three times in his career with a career-high 12.5 in 2002 with the 49ers and 10.5 in 2007 and 11.0 in 2009 with the Redskins.
Then there’s the addition of defensive end Mark Anderson, signed last week, and Warren, who was brought back on Monday.
“I see Mark as an edge player, as a player on the perimeter of the defense, absolutely. But how much, or when that is, I don’t know,” Belichick said.
Both add to the logjam of defensive lineman, with speculation increasing that Belichick is looking at relying heavily on a 4-3 base this season, a scheme that produced two Super Bowl titles with the Giants and helped the Patriots beat the Rams in Super Bowl XXXVI.