After being a finalist for the Hall of Fame in 2011, there is no doubt in my mind that Vikings WR Cris Carter will get in this year. I’m very surprised that Carter isn’t already in. Some people consider Carter to be the second best receiver of all-time, only behind the great Jerry Rice. Carter retired in 2002 in 2nd place behind Rice in career receptions and touchdowns.
In his 16 NFL seasons Carter tallied 1,101 receptions, for 13,899 yards, and 130 TD’s, while playing for Philadelphia, Minnesota, and Miami. His career year came in 1995 with 122 catches, 1,371 yards, and 17 TD’s. In my opinion these are first ballot Hall of Fame numbers. The fact that Carter has been on the ballot since 2008 and not been elected is ridiculous. When you think about the great receivers of the 1990’s you think, Rice, Carter, Brown, Reed, and Irvin to name a few. Cris Carter is always in the discussion, and I would argue probably had the best hands of any of these guys.
The one glaring thing that Carter does not have is a ring. I don’t think there’s any question that if he had one that he would already be in Canton. Is this really fair to hold against Carter getting into the Hall? Sure, you can make a case that keeps him from being a first ballot, but to snub him entirely for four years? Come on now. Hall of Famer Michael Irvin only has 750 career receptions, for 11,904 yards, and 65 TD’s, but 3 rings. His numbers are not even close to Carter, but the rings bolster his Canton resume, and he was inducted in 2007.
I’m sure there are folks out there who would argue that Carter is not even the best wide receiver in Minnesota Vikings history, of course I’m alluding to Randy Moss. Moss spent 8 seasons in Minneapolis, most recently in 2010 for only 4 games. Moss has more yards 14,858 and TD’s 153, in 3 less seasons than Carter. Who can forget 1998 when Carter and Moss teamed up for the Vikings run to the NFC Championship game? This season was arguably the greatest display of a 1, 2 wide out punch in NFL history. These guys lit it up in some of the most entertaining football I have ever seen. Moss probably had more natural talent than Carter, but when it comes to effort and being a good teammate, there is not even an argument. Moss had the reputation of being a “team cancer” and not always giving 100 percent, which was very obvious at times. Carter was a competitor and you knew he was going to bring it every day. If I’m picking an all-time team and I have to choose between the two, give me Cris Carter.
There is no way the Hall can pass on Carter in 2012. I don’t understand what’s keeping him out. Clearly he’s at least a top 5 receiver all-time, no question about it. If the voters are holding him about because of the ring, that is absurd at this point. He’s been on the ballot for 5 years now, it’s time for Cris Carter to take his rightful place in the NFL Hall of Fame.