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 had a team-high 22 quarterback pressures and 10 sacks in 14 games before going down with a season-ending quad injury in December. He 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, who will turn 33 in May. "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."
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 5-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."
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