FOXBORO, Mass. AP) _ Former Chicago fullback Tony Carter chose New England over AFC East rival Buffalo, signing a three-year deal worth $2.7 million, including $800,000 signing bonus.

``Tony was very impressed with the Patriots on his visit here,'' Carter's agent, Vern Sharbaugh, said Tuesday. ``He's a winning ballplayer, and he wanted to go someplace where he could win right away.

``He thinks Buffalo is on the way up, but New England is very close, and Tony wanted to go where he could win right away.''

Carter, 25, was an unrestricted free agent. The 5-foot-11, 236-pound fullback is a four-year NFL veteran out of the University of Minnesota.

``He's truly a fullback,'' Patriots coach Pete Carroll told the Boston Herald. ``He played in an offense where we could see him lead block and catch the ball. He also showed some running skills, although we didn't see much of that because he didn't carry the ball very often there.''