Revisiting Carpenter's deal

Revisiting the contract signed by linebacker Bobby Carpenter with the Patriots, while analyzing what it might mean:

Term: 1 year

Base salary: $700,000

Signing bonus: $50,000

Workout bonus: $25,000

Salary cap charge: $775,000

Carpenter has a chance to earn more in incentives.

ANALYSIS: This deal is consistent with how the Patriots have approached their free-agent spending this year. Most of the signings have counted between $750,000-$2 million on the salary cap, as the team has focused on that area to improve depth. Sometimes a little contract sweetener -- $50,000 to sign, $25,000 to workout -- can be the difference-maker when a player is deciding between returning to his team or coming to a new one. That looks like what happened with Carpenter, who did some good things for the Lions in a reserve/spot starter role in 2010 and 2011.