The New England Patriots have signed linebacker Bobby Carpenter, the team announced today. Carpenter played for the Detroit Lions the past two seasons, mainly as a reserve at linebacker. He did make five starts for the Lions, but usually he was a backup.
With the Lions, Carpenter totaled 29 tackles in 2011. He also had one pass defense and one interception, which he returned for a touchdown. The pick came against the Dallas Cowboys and jump-started the Lions' rally from down 24 points.
This offseason, Carpenter was not re-signed by the Lions. With the starters set with Stephen Tulloch, DeAndre Levy and Justin Durant and Ashlee Palmer and Doug Hogue returning as backups, there is really only room for one more linebacker on the 53-man roster. The expectation is for it to go to a special teams player, so Carpenter just may not have figured into their plans moving forward.
Personally, I was hoping the Lions would bring back Carpenter. He is an excellent backup and was someone the Lions were able to count on when a starter went down.