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Some thoughts on the Patriots acquisition of linebacker Bobby Carpenter

04.06.12 at 12:18 am ET
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The Patriots added linebacker Bobby Carpenter to the roster on Thursday, and it likely represents a fresh start for the Ohio State product who has struggled to match the expectations that come with being a first-round draft pick.

The 28-year-old Carpenter was taken in the first round of the 2006 draft by the Cowboys, but was never able to make it work in Dallas. The 6-foot-2, 249-pounder played in 58 games for Dallas over four seasons, making three starts. He was dealt to St. Louis in May 2010, but did not make the Rams’ 53-man roster. He spent time with Miami and Detroit in 2010, and played 16 games last season in Detroit (three starts), recording 29 tackles.

At this point, he likely faces an uphill battle for playing time, but Carpenter does have some positional versatility, as he has played inside linebacker in the 3-4 base defense and outside linebacker in a 4-3 scheme over the course of his career, and has also served as a special teamer.

(Carpenter’s father Rob was a fullback with the Giants from 1981 to 1985 — during that stretch, Patriots coach Bill Belichick was an assistant coach in New York.)

In a move that might not be unrelated, Patriots linebacker Gary Guyton will visit with the Dolphins in the next week, according to a league source. Guyton, a free agent, slipped down New England’s depth chart over the course of the last year. While it’s not likely that Guyton’s departure would open up a lot of snaps for a potential replacement, it would create a possible roster opening that could be filled by someone like Carpenter going forward.

Read More: Bill Belichick, Bobby Carpenter, Gary Guyton,
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