Bobby Carpenter has been with three teams, traded once and cut twice. Six years into a disappointing NFL career, Carpenter still is earning a living at football.
The Cowboys made the Ohio State linebacker the 18th overall pick in 2006. Then-coach Bill Parcells had coached Carpenter's father, running back Rob Carpenter, with the Giants from 1981-85.
In four years with the Cowboys, Carpenter made three starts and had 96 tackles, 3.5 sacks and two defensed passes. The Cowboys drafted Sean Lee as his replacement in 2010, and Carpenter was traded to St. Louis for Alex Barron.
Antonio Cromartie, Tamba Hali, Manny Lawson, Jonathan Joseph, Davin Joseph, Santonio Holmes and Nick Mangold were among the players drafted in the first round after Carpenter in 2006.
While Carpenter likely will never live up to the expectations Parcells had for him in 2006, Carpenter has managed to keep his career going. He is with Detroit, though he has played only five defensive plays in three games and made only one special teams tackle.
"Bobby has done very well for us," Lions coach Jim Schwartz said. "We are very fortunate to get him last year. He played some very good football for us down the stretch. Every time we put him in the game, he had tackles. He is an excellent pass defender. That’s probably the strength of his game. He did a good job on special teams. He’s a big part of our linebacker corps. He’s in different packages. He’s a very good cover guy, productive tackling, and he’s extremely conscientious. He’s just a very smart player. We’re very happy to have him."
-- Charean Williams