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Agent: Andre Carter ‘ahead of schedule’ on rehab, would welcome return to Patriots

02.24.12 at 11:44 am ET
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Andre Carter had 10 sacks last season with the Patriots. (AP)

INDIANAPOLIS — Andre Carter’s agent Carl Poston indicated Friday morning that the defensive end is “ahead of schedule” on his rehab, and he has already held preliminary discussions with the Patriots about a possible return to New England in 2012.

Carter, who finished with a team-high 22 quarterback pressures and 10 sacks in 14 games before going down with a season-ending left quad injury in December, was on a one-year deal with the Patriots. But it certainly appears that the 32-year-old is open to returning next season.

“He’s rehabbing. He’s in good shape. He wants to play,” Poston said of Carter. “We’re just kind of monitoring and tracking his injury, and when it’s time to talk, they’re going to let me know.

“I just called them to see what their plans were, to see if they were interested, and I would have been surprised if they said they weren’t interested. Obviously, they said they were interested but it’s a little premature, a little early, and I understood that. In terms of being a professional and doing my job, I just wanted to kind of call them and see where we stood.”

On Twitter, Carter has indicated several times that he really enjoyed his season with the Patriots, and New England coach Bill Belichick praised Carter several times over the course of the season as a “consistent, high-effort player.”

“I think he’s performed well all year. I really do,” Belichick said of Carter in October, shortly before a four-sack game against the Jets. “I think he’s had a really solid year for us. I think he’s performed well pretty much since the first training camp practice. He’s a very consistent, high-effort player, strong, experienced, knows what he’s doing, very professional. He’s been really consistent.”

Poston said that Carter enjoyed his season in New England.

“I think that everything turned out the way we wanted, except for the injury,” he said. “He wanted to go to a quality team and obviously, New England is that. He wanted to go to a contender. He wanted to go to a team where he could work well in the system and go to the Pro Bowl. All those things happened. It’s just that he got hurt. That’s part of the game.

“I hate to put it in football terms, but it’s like carrying the ball, and you’re on the five-yard line, and the time runs out. He didn’t get a chance to carry it over the goal line — in spirit, he did, But I would like to think that if he were healthy, it would have made a difference in the Super Bowl because it was such a close game. I just think that Andre would have made that kind of difference, because he’s a difference maker.”

Poston indicated that Carter could be even better than he was in 2012.

“He’s in good shape. He’s in good shape. He’s ahead in his rehab,” he said. “It’s not the kind of injury … it’s not like a lower back or a knee where he’s not going to be able to come back. He’s going to come back 100 percent. As a matter of fact, he might even be stronger.”

Read More: 2012 combine, Andre Carter, Bill Belichick, Carl Poston
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