It’s safe to say that Pro Football Hall of Fame wide receiver Cris Carter did more than “just catch touchdowns”…a whole lot more.
The 16-year veteran ranks fourth in NFL history with 1,101 receptions, trailing only fellow Hall of Famer Jerry Rice (1,549), as well as tight end Tony Gonzalez (1,242) and wide receiver Marvin Harrison (1,101). Carter totaled 13,899 receiving yards, currently ranked ninth in league annals.
As for the touchdowns, there were indeed plenty of them. Carter hauled in 130 scoring passes, trailing only Rice (197), one-time teammate Randy Moss (156) and Terrell Owens (153).
Carter began his NFL in 1987 with the Philadelphia Eagles, who made him a fourth-round draft choice in the supplemental draft that year. Carter’s first NFL reception was (you guessed it) a 22-yard touchdown reception vs. the then-St. Louis Cardinals.
After three seasons in the City of Brotherly Love, Carter would spend the next dozen seasons in Minnesota where he was a huge part of the team’s prolific offenses, most in 1998 when the team finished 15-1 and scored a then-record 556 points.
But the reliable wideout was putting up amazing numbers before that. In both 1994 and ’95, Carter caught exactly 122 passes, amazing numbers even with the modern passing rules that favor the aerial game.
If you had to single out one thing (not an easy thing to do) that Carter did perhaps better than any player in NFL history, it was the ability to catch the football and get both feet in bounds. Be it straddling the sideline or tight-roping near the back of the end zone, it was art to watch Carter excel in his craft.
For his next performance, the prolific performer won’t need any fancy footwork. Carter will simply walk into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in August and take his rightful place among the greats of the game.
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