As inevitable as an Andre Carter reunion with the Patriots may seem, the sticking point should come as no surprise.
As always, even when they say it’s not about the money, it’s about the money.
Jeff Howe of the Boston Herald reports that the defensive end’s looking for a long-term deal at a salary commensurate with his Pro Bowl resume, since he expects to be ready to play the regular season opener.
The Patriots, on the other hand, see a 33-year-old who tore his quadriceps tendon in Week 15, who might need to go on the physically unable to perform list as soon as he’s signed. Howe indicates that’s a negotiating tactic, designed to lower financial expectations for a guy who would miss a third of the season.
Carter was a bargain last year, turning in 10.0 sacks emerging as a three-down player who provided leadership, all for a one-year, $2.75 million contract.
As an indication of how much he wants to stay in New England, Carter’s apparently turned down interest from other teams.
But the Patriots have made contingency plans if they can’t find financial common ground, drafting pass-rushers Chandler Jones and Jake Bequette, and signing free agents Jonathan Fanene and Trevor Scott.
So even if the Patriots are holding a roster spot and a jersey number for him, talk that they’re destined to get together will come down to the eventual dollars and cents.