But that turned out only to be part of the story. Carter also had a drug relapse, according to several published reports.
Carter has a history of drug problems, but the Jets signed him anyway. Jets coach Herman Edwards is a big believer in giving players a second chance. While some coaches will shy away from players with substance backgrounds, the Jets coach welcomes them with open arms.
The Jets handling of this story has some beat writers disturbed. They feel they were misled.
"When Carter left the club last month, the Jets said he was tending to his mother, who was supposed to be seriously ill in Decatur, Ga," wrote Dave Hutchinson in the Newark Star-Ledger. "The revelation that the Jets might not have been truthful comes after team doctors admitted they hedged on the seriousness of Chad Pennington's shoulder injury during the season."
There are some people in the organization and media who will lead you to believe that Carter played well in his three games filling in for Pennington this season. Just because the Jets went 2-1 with Carter under center, doesn't mean he played well. The two wins with Carter at quarterback were against two of the NFL's worst teams – Cleveland and Arizona, and the Jets scored a total of 23 points in those two games combined. Against a bad Browns defense, Carter went 11 of 20 for 116 yards, and had no answer for their blitz. Then against Arizona, he was 8 of 12 for 133 yards.
Carter is clearly done with the team. They will likely go with Brook Bollinger as the backup quarterback entering training camp, something they probably should have done last year. Bollinger reads defenses better than Carter, and has an overall better feel for the position.
The Jets organization refuses to comment on the Carter story. A Jets spokesman called it "speculation", which makes it seem like it might not be true. But there are so many sources backing up this story, it's hard to believe there isn't credence to it.