It's been a little more than four months since Andre Carter tore his quadriceps against the Broncos.
But his future with the Patriots is no clearer now than when he hit the deck in pain in Denver.
"Your guess is as good as mine," Carter said Tuesday when asked if he knew the Patriots plans for him. "They kind of just said, 'Thanks for everything,' at the end of the year and I haven't heard from them since. But I'm optimistic everything works out."
Carter came to the Patriots on a one-year deal in 2011 and rolled up 10 sacks for the pass-rush desperate Patriots. He was also a beacon of professionalism in their locker room.
It's not unusual for the Patriots to move away from the free agent market in the weeks leading up to the NFL Draft then revisit prospects later in the offseason.
Carter hopes that's their plan when it comes to him.
"I could not have enjoyed that season any more than I did," said Carter, who'll be 33 on May 12. "I was working with guys who just love the game of football, the Patriots organization does things the right way, the city was awesome - people wanted to know the players whether they were stars or not. It was such an amazing experience I'd love to experience it again."
Carter says he's spending two-and-a-half to three hours six days a week rehabbing what he described as a "unique injury."
Asked if he'll watch the draft with an eye toward the Patriots plucking a replacement, Carter said, "I won't watch because of my position being in jeopardy or anything, I just want to see who they get and see a guy's dream come true. I just think, 'Good luck, youngster.' When you've been in the game as long as I have, you know what a blessing it is to get drafted."
Asked if he felt he had "unfinished business" (to borrow a term from Chad Ochocinco's agent), Carter said, "It is a goal to win it all and I understand the journey starts in the offseason. Hopefully I get a chance to try again."