Cris Carter (Miller Safrit/Scout.com)
When Cris Carter speaks, most people listen. Those who fall asleep get a loud awakening, as was the case Wednesday when Carter was addressing a rookie symposium.
When Cris Carter talks, people listen. If not, they get chewed out like nobody’s business.
Carter, speaking at the final day of the NFL’s Rookie Symposium at Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., was addressing the rookie crop about avoiding the pitfalls that can befall young men with a lot of money. Carter has been a regular speaker at these events and knows from where he speaks.
Carter became famous in his own right as a young player with the Philadelphia Eagles. Carter was into the party scene and, because of his personality, had other young Philadelphia players joining him when he decided to hit the town. Head coach Buddy Ryan realized that Carter had a problem and that his problem was affecting more than just himself, but also several of his teammates. In order to keep control of the team and not allow such divisive factions to grow, Ryan released Carter – who, at that point, had already developed as a top red zone threat. Ryan would make the infamous comment when asked to explain the release that “all he does is catch touchdowns.”
Carter eventually was signed by the Vikings for the going waiver fee of $100 and it wasn’t until years later that Carter explained that Ryan was doing him a long-term favor by releasing him when he did. Since his retirement, Carter has spoken to rookie symposiums to explain the many pitfalls that can ensnare players and how to avoid them.
However, not all in the audience was as caught up in the Carter address as others. One player fell asleep during the speech, which didn’t sit too well with C.C. According to NFL.com, the player was awakened by Carter, who dished out a pretty scathing tongue-lashing over the drowsiness, saying that if players don’t want to listen to the people who know more about the NFL lifestyle than they do and can help them avoid the mistakes others have made in the past, they won’t last long in the league.
Carter also said that rookies need to be wary about the veterans they are looking to unseat. He said those players have families, mortgages and car payments to make and will be giving everything they have in order to keep their spot. Carter, an ordained minister, got a loud ovation from the crowd, who learned many lessons from the four-day symposium – among them being don’t fall asleep when a future Hall of Famer is speaking.
The Eagles have already signed all of their draft picks with the exception of first-round wide receiver Jeremy Maclin. His signing could be important to the Vikings, since Percy Harvin is also a wide receiver and was taken just three picks after Maclin.
It’s going to be hard to tell the Lions roster without a scorecard this season. The team finalized a trade with Jacksonville for wide receiver Dennis Northcutt – the 12th vested veteran signed by the Lions since the start of free agency. That, combined with 10 draft picks made in April, and Detroit is going to have a very different-looking roster heading into training camp.
The CFL season got underway Wednesday for those who can’t wait until August for the NFL preseason to begin.
There is the possibility that Harvin, who missed most of the rookie symposium due to illness, may have to attend the session next year.
SI.com speculated Wednesday that the Vikings may have to shell out $8-10 million in order to get Brett Favre to sign a contract, although many other reports claim that Favre would sign for a smaller base number, but sign a deal loaded with incentives.
Nate Burleson, the former Viking who missed almost all of the 2008 season with a torn ACL, is expected to be ready for the start of Seattle’s training camp.