The NFL Hall of Fame Class of 2012 was announced this past weekend. The new inductees are cornerback Jack Butler, center Dermontti Dawson, defensive end/linebacker Chris Doleman, defensive tackle Cortez Kennedy, running back Curtis Martin, and tackle Willie Roaf. Notably missing from this group is Cris Carter, former Eagles, Vikings, and Dolphins wide receiver. Carter played 16 seasons, had 1,101 receptions, 13,899 yards, and 130 touchdowns. When he retired in 2002, he was 2nd in NFL History in receptions and touchdown catches and ranked 3rd in total yards and touchdowns. Anyone who was privileged to see him play knows that he had some of the best hands ever.
No one can really explain why Carter is still waiting but the wide receiver position as a whole is few and far between in the NFL Hall of Fame. Only the tight end position has fewer inductees. It has been noted that early in his career, Carter had trouble with substance abuse and was eventually cut by the Philadelphia Eagles. He would revive his career for the Minnesota Vikings and become an All-Pro. From 1993-2000 Carter had eight consecutive 1,000 yard seasons. Carter’s acrobatic catches and his innate ability to make the tough sideline catch made the Vikings a viable offensive force. He did not win a championship, coming a field goal away from a Super Bowl in 1998, but no one can doubt his place as one of the top wide receivers of that era and of all time. It is always a guessing game as to what the Hall of Fame Committee’s criteria is for induction. If you listen to the experts, the reasoning for the Hall of Fame “snubs” seem to change from year to year, but one thing is for certain, that if Cris Carter does not make the NFL Hall of Fame then there should not be one.
Jamie Walker can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @coachjdub21.