As we mentioned just a little while ago, former Minnesota Vikings' wide receiver Cris Carter will be enshrined in Canton as a part of the Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2013. Let's take a look back at his career.
Carter played his college football at THE. . .dramatic pause. . .Ohio State University, and was not taken in the "real" NFL Draft. He was actually a selection of the Philadelphia Eagles in the 1987 NFL Supplemental Draft, as he had met with an agent prior to the 1987 college football season and was ruled ineligible for his senior year with the Buckeyes. Despite that, when he retired he was the Buckeyes' all-time leader in receptions with 168.
Carter got off to a bit of a strange start in his career with the Eagles. He spent three seasons in Philadelphia, leading the team in touchdown receptions in 1989. After that season, however, a combination of drug use and a falling out with then-Eagles head coach Buddy Ryan led to his release from the team, and the Vikings spent $100 on a waiver claim to pick him up.
Carter didn't truly tear it up during his first few years with the Vikings, averaging about 70 catches and 900 yards per season. Then, in 1994, Carter exploded with back-to-back seasons of 122 catches, still the fourth-highest total for a single season in NFL history. As ESPN Sports and Info pointed out just after Carter's selection. . .
When new HOFer Cris Carter retired, he had 2 seasons with at least 120 catches. Every other player in NFL history had combined for 3.— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) February 2, 2013
Yeah. . .that's pretty good.
Carter went on to have at least 1,000 yards receiving every year from 1993 to 2000. He also had double-digit touchdowns every year from 1995 to 1999, including leading the National Football League in touchdown catches in 1995 (17), 1997 (13), and 1999 (13). Carter left the Vikings after the 2001 season, and after he played with the Miami Dolphins in 2002 in hopes of grabbing that elusive Super Bowl ring. . .a quest that was, ironically, partially derailed by the Vikings. . .he retired with more receptions (1,101), receiving yards (13,899), and receiving touchdowns (130) than any receiver in the history of the National Football League not named Jerry Rice.
Carter also probably. . .nay, definitely. . .had the best set of hands that the National Football League has ever seen. The NFL Network named him as much as one of their "Top 10" specials, and he made a lot of amazing catches, particularly along the sidelines. Check this out.
It's an absolute crime that Cris Carter had to wait all of these years to make it into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Thankfully, today, that wrong has been righted, and the man will make his way into the Hall in his home state of Ohio on August 3, 2013. We're already looking forward to it, because it's been a long time coming.
Once again, congratulations to one of the greatest receivers in NFL history on finally taking his rightful place in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.