NFL Free Agency: Should The Arizona Cardinals Target Andre Carter?

LANDOVER, MD - DECEMBER 11: Rex Grossman #8 of the Washington Redskins passes as he is hit by Andre Carter #93 of the New England Patriots at FedEx Field on December 11, 2011 in Landover, Maryland. (Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images)

Finally we had our first favorable vote for one of the pass rushers yesterday. 75% of you said that if the Raiders to end up cutting Kamerion Wimbley (which it looks like they will) the Cardinals should go after him depending on his price. If you recall, the Cardinals did pursue Wimbley in the past, so maybe this time they can actually get him.

Today's player has played with his hand in the ground as a defensive end for most of his career, but he does have experience standing up and playing in space as a linebacker, too. Andre Carter was a pass rushing force during his first season with the Patriots and if not for his injury, who knows how the Super Bowl would have turned out.

Now, Carter is a free agent and will be turning 33 before the season begins. Should the Arizona Cardinals attempt to sign him?

Although Carter has played in a 4-3 scheme for most of his career, he does have experience as a 3-4 linebacker as well. When he played for the Redskins in 2010, Mike Shanahan brought the 3-4 with him and Carter was plugged in to the new system.

His 2010 stats as a linebacker are nowhere near as comparable to his time playing as a DE. Pro Football Focus gave him a pass rushing grade of -7.0 in 2010 as opposed to a +5.1 in 2011 as a defensive line edge rusher. Carter also received negative grades in run defense and in pass coverage as a linebacker. By all appearances, he just didn't fit in Washington, which is why he was eventually cut.

Still, as a new player to the 3-4 scheme, Carter rushed the pass 398 times and came up with five sacks, five QB hits and 16 pressures. With more time, he could improve in the other facets of the game.

We know that as a defensive end, Carter is a pass rushing force. With the Patriots, Carter targeted the opposing quarterback 446 times in his 14 games and registered 11 sacks, 16 QB hits and 24 pressures, according to PFF. That's a total of 51 pressures in 2011, which is almost double the amount he had in 2010.

Due to his age and unfamiliarity with playing the linebacker spot, I still do not think Carter is the answer for the Cardinals. Yes, he can bring some heat off the edge, but he is simply too much of a liability in coverage. On top of that, he is getting ready to turn 33 years old. Although his asking price may not be overwhelming, I would prefer to see the Cards go after a player with some youth.

What do you think? Can Carter come in to Arizona and play well as a linebacker? Tell us what you think in the comments below and don't forget to vote in the poll.

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