Andre Carter gets itMORE: Life without Ortiz Jermaine O'Neal's still talking

562826.jpg

Andre Carter gets itMORE: Life without Ortiz Jermaine O'Neal's still talking

Yesterday on Sirius, formermaybe future Pats defensive lineman Andre Carter was on with guys at "Movin' the Chains." It was an interesting interview, the details of which you can read more about over here, but there's one part that I want to focus on.

Something that Carter said after being asked about spending last season in Foxborough.

Ahem.

"I think I learned more about football than I had throughout my whole 11 years."

Wow.

After more than a decade of listening to the world talk about what a genius Bill Belichick is, I think it's sometimes easy to take him for granted. Or at the very least, to temporarily lose sight of just how much football's been absorbed by the man's brain over the last 60 years.

But every once in a while you hear something like this, and it puts everything in perspective. You hear Andre Carter, who's played a dozen seasons in the NFL, for seven different head coaches including Joe Gibbs and Mike Shanahan say that he learned more in four months with Belichick than in the rest of his career combined.

I guess we need to take Carter's words with a grain of salt. After all, you know that he's dying for a chance to re-join the Pats this year. And he knows that it can't hurt to kiss a little Hoodie ass in the media. But there's no doubt that part of the reason Carter's so eager to play for the Pats in the first place is that bottomless pit of knowledge that sits on top of Belichick's head.

Whether or not Carter and the Pats will ever come to terms this season . . . we'll see. A lot still depends on Carter's recovery from last December's quad injury. He might be a great guy, but unless he can play to last year's standards, you know Belichick won't bite. But count me among the thousands that hope the two sides work something out.

Not only can the Pats use Carter's presence on the line, but the Pats D can use another established veteran. A guy who might still have a lot to learn from Belichick, but also has a lot he can teach to Chandler Jones and the rest of the defensive line.

One other highlight from the Carter interview?

This: "I didnt realize how big Donta Hightower was," Carter said about the Pats other first round pick. "That boy is a beast. He is big and solid and he can run like the wind, especially for a man his size (6-2, 270). I think for him, on the back end, he can do it all whether its a 3-4 or 4-3, Ill be interested to see what he does."

I'll be, too. Like I said before, I really think we're seeing the start of something special with the Pats crew of young linebackers: Jerod Mayo, Brandon Spikes and Hightower.

I think I'm more excited for them than I've been for any linebacking trio throughout my whole 11 years.

Rich can be reached at rlevine@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Rich on Twitter at http:twitter.comrich_levine

How does Derek Carr's new deal impact Jimmy Garoppolo?

How does Derek Carr's new deal impact Jimmy Garoppolo?

Ever since Derek Carr signed a five-year, $125 million extension with the Raiders to give him the highest average annual contract value in league history, some version of the same question has been posed over and over again. 

What does this mean for other quarterbacks looking for new deals? 

Despite the fact that Carr's average annual value surpasses the previous high set by Andrew Luck ($24.6 million), and despite the fact that Carr's contract provides him the security that alluded him while he was on his rookie contract, his recent haul may not mean much for the likes of Matthew Stafford, Kirk Cousins and other top-end quarterbacks.

They were already expecting monster paydays down the road that would hit (or eclipse) the $25 million range, and Carr's record-setting contract may not even serve as a suitable baseline for them, as ESPN's Dan Graziano lays out.

So if Carr's contract did little more for upper-echelon quarterbacks than confirm for them where the market was already headed, then does it mean anything for someone like Jimmy Garoppolo? 

Carr and Garoppolo were both second-round picks in 2014, but from that point, they've obviously taken very different roads as pros. Carr started 47 consecutive games in his first three years and by last season he had established himself as one of the most valuable players in the league. Garoppolo, by comparison, has started two games. 

Both players still hold loads of promise, but unless Garoppolo sees substantial playing time in 2017 and then hits the open market, he won't approach Carr's deal when his rookie contract is up.  

ESPN's Mike Reiss projected that a fair deal for Garoppolo on the open market might fall between the $19 million that was guaranteed to Chicago's Mike Glennon and Carr's contract, which includes $40 million fully guaranteed and $70 million in total guarantees, per NFL Media.

Perhaps something in the range of what Brock Osweiler received from the Texans after Osweiler started seven games for the Broncos in 2015 would be considered fair: four years, with $37 million guaranteed. Because Osweiler (before his deal or since) never seemed as polished as Garoppolo was in his two games as a starter in 2016, and because the salary cap continues to soar, the argument could be made that Garoppolo deserves something even richer. 

Though Garoppolo is scheduled to hit unrestricted free agency following the 2017 season, there is a chance he doesn't get there quite that quickly. The Patriots could try to come to some kind of agreement with their backup quarterback on an extension that would keep him in New England, or they could place the franchise tag on him following the season. 

Either way, Garoppolo will get paid. But until he sees more time on the field, a deal that would pay him in the same range as his draft classmate will probably be out of reach.

Patriots release camp dates; open practices begin July 27

Patriots release camp dates; open practices begin July 27

Football is coming.

The Patriots announced on Thursday that veterans will report to training camp on Wednesday, July 26 and that the first public practice will take place the following day.

Each of the team's first four practices -- from July 27-30 -- are scheduled to take place on the practice fields behind Gillette Stadium "in the nine o'clock hour," according to the Patriots. Updates to the training camp schedule, including more specific start times for practices, can be found at patriots.com/trainingcamp.

The Patriots Hall of Fame will hold its induction ceremony for former corner Raymond Clayborn on Saturday, July 29 around midday following that morning's training camp practice. Held on the plaza outside the Hall at Patriot Place, the ceremony will be free and open to the public.

The Patriots will host the Jaguars for two days of joint practices open to the public on Monday, Aug. 7 and Tuesday, Aug. 8. The preseason opener for both clubs will take place at Gillette Stadium on Aug. 10.