=== DOSSIER: CRIS CARTER ===
STATUS: A LEADER FOR THE WIDE RECIEVER CORPS?
3/6/2002: The Browns appear to be trying in earnest to disprove my speculation below by pushing hard to sign Carter. Of note here is that new SS Robert Griffith and Carter have the same agent... one might suspect that Carter and Griffith might want to hang together on a new team. A more conspiracy-minded person might suggest that part of getting Griffith signed was that the Browns would spin the press into believing that Carter's price was going up. Whatever... over these last four years I've learned to doubt any public proclamations by the teams. When it comes to free agent season, the script is more out of Machiavelli's The Prince than the First Amendment. While the Browns apparent love for Carter seeps out through the press, the Official Site of the Official Miami Dolphins officially reports in their "Official Press Box" that officials say that Carter visited Dolphins officials. The picture I get in my head every time one of these stories comes out is that of Mike Martz sighing heavily and reaching into a desk drawer to pull out another stack of $100 bills to put on his desk while waiting for Carter to show. If the stories are to be believed, the Browns wouldn't mind him cancelling his visit.
3/4/2002: "Interest" has turned into "visit" tonight, according to CNNSI's Don Banks. Carter will be visiting Berea tomorrow. While he will likely use the interest from Cleveland, New Orleans and others to help push up the dollars he wants from the Rams, it's always possible that he might get persuaded before he gets to Missouri. Then again, probably not. If I had to put money on it - and fortunately I don't - I'd put the odds for the Browns landing Carter at about 10%, maybe lower. But Davis and Garcia have surprised us before. In case you thought that they were sorta slow, the Vikes have already given up on resigning Carter and are trying to come up with replacements.
3/3/2002: Come on, admit it. When you saw this rumor you thought to yourself: "That stupid Bietz is really stretching it this time...". Or perhaps you thought: "I'm not even going to click on that because Bietz is a moron". Or maybe: "Bietz is wasting my freaking time, and I'm going to kick his butt". You did, didn't ya? Didn't ya? I KNOW THAT YOU DID. DON'T DENY IT.
Well, well, well. Who's the clueless beer-guzzling football zombie now, eh??
Well, it's still me. Nonetheless, I'm feeling pretty cocky tonight because no less a personage that CNNSI's Don Banks is telling us that Cleveland is among the teams expected to have an interest in Carter. Pffffft to all you naysayers. That's what I have to say. Pffffft. Just try to get insight like this from John Clayton and the rest of those talking heads. HA!
Anyhow, Carter's probably going to sign with the Rams anyway. Still the Rams are going to give signing Al-Hakim a shot before they commit to Carter. CBS Sportsline says that Carter is close to the Rams too, but they also talk about the Saints. Pro Football Weekly says it's the Colts, Dolphins, Eagles and Rams in the hunt. Whatever. I'm guessing it's whoever has a shot at the Super Bowl and a big wad of cash to blow to try to get there this year or next. (AB)
2/25/2002: With Carter not getting the warm reception he expected, the Vikes are waiting for the prodigal son to return home. While Mike Tice isn't counting on Carter to return, he's clearly hopeful: "He isn't gone yet," Tice said, "Who knows? Cris may want to come back. We, of course, would welcome him." There's nothing like riches which don't materialize to make one return to the cozy comforts of home.
2/24/2002: Today, the Sporting News reports that the Eagles have cooled on bringing on Cris Carter, but that it's still possible. Really, that's what they said. Of course, you read that here yesterday, but I guess this confirms it. Either that, or the reporter reads Vikings Update and just repeated it. Maybe it's because the Eagles are counting on Kevin Johnson (insert instantly-irritating smirk of Dawg web-geek superiority here). Oh wait, it's the same reporter who did the KJ stuff. Nevermind.
It doesn't look like the Saints are real interested either.
2/23/2002: Vikings Update reports that it doesn't look like Carter is going to go back to the Eagles. Carter is interested, but it doesn't look like the Eagles are. I've written the webmaster to let him know that the link is busted (2:30PM Saturday). I know that all Bernie's Insiders and BTNG visitors have gotten spoiled about coming to this perfctly run website where everything is alwais perfect but there are some that occasionaly have
and make mistakes and stuff. We'll help them to be as dead solid perfect as we are.
2/11/2002: The Trenton Times reports that Carter is very interested in talking to the Philadelphia Eagles, and that a couple of other teams (St. Louis, Miami and New Orleans) are interested in the WR. Carter will clearly not be returning to Minnesota, and plays the local media in Joisey by saying that his heart is telling him to play for the nearby Eagles. Would it be crass for us to point to the story in the previous day's Pioneer-Press that had Carter interested in Crackmore and Denver in addition to the teams listed above? Probably. The only thing more crass would be to point Insiders WebExtra subscribers in the direction of the Sunday Morning Massacre, where Lane and John offer their take on Carter.
2/4/2002: The rather pleasant fantasy I spin below about the return of Carter to his home state is colliding with the harsh economic reality of the NFL. According to Fantasy Mastermind, the Saints are going to go hard after Carter and would be willing to give him the two-year deal he craves. While I was digging around for more info on Carter, I spotted a story that the new Vikings OC is going to borrow a page from Brian "The Ego" Billick's handbook of offensive genius and start throwing the ball really far and letting Randy Moss run under it. That has nothing to do with Carter, of course, but I never let a chance to toss a little dig in the direction of the rapidly balding Head Rat go by unused.
1/18/2002: Reports in the press indicate that Carter has recieved permission from the Vikings to negotiate with other teams. Carter is a Buckeye, having gone to Ohio State, and might have a possible interest in returning home to finish his career. The Browns could certainly use an experienced WR to teach the youngster how to, for example, hold onto a football. (AB)