It had the makings of a TV movie -- Cris Carter finishes his career with the Philadelphia Eagles, the team that cut him a decade earlier after drug abuse and a party lifestyle threatened to end his promising career.
The rest has been a script most movie makers wouldn't even believe. Carter finds God, becomes a minister and along the way becomes a Hall of Fame wide receiver.
However, Carter's final landing point may not be as simple as he thinks. VU has been told by a source with the Eagles that Philly may not be nearly as interested in Carter as may meet the eye.
While the Eagles are far from the top of the league at the WR position, they have three players they are very high on -- James Thrash, Todd Pinkston and Freddie Mitchell. To bring in Carter would mean making him a starter for one or two years, which, according to a source close to coach Andy Reid, would "retard the growth" of Pinkston and/or Mitchell. The sentiment is that Carter would demand a lot of playing time and balls thrown his way, which would come at the expense of the young receivers the Eagles are trying to groom long-term to go along with Donovan McNabb.
As far as the Eagles are concerned, Carter may actually be overqualified for the job, since they have a plan in place that doesn't call for a veteran -- even though VU still has a hard time believing that a team many think is Super Bowl-bound next year wouldn't want to add a weapon of Carter's talent.
* The loss of Carter leaves a monstrous void with the Vikings. With Jake Reed unsigned and Chris Walsh being threatened with being cut if he doesn't slash his pay, the Vikings have no player other than Randy Moss on the roster who has seen NFL action at wide receiver. While the team is quietly optimistic about Cedric James, WR becomes a draft priority or a place where free agent money will have to be invested to bring in at least one veteran because the feeling is that Walsh, Reed and James are not starting material.
* Mitch Berger likely won't be back in any capacity with the Vikings after refusing to lower his $1 million-a-year contract. He called his release "a slap in the face" and made it clear he isn't the guy the team should have made an example of when asking players to restructure contracts.
* With Berger gone, it may result in trouble for Gary Anderson, who was used only for field goals and not kickoffs. The Vikes now may look for a younger leg that can handle both kickoff and field goal duties.
* After talking with Jon Gruden about an opening on the Tampa Bay coaching staff, WR coach Charlie Baggett has decided to stay with the Vikings.
* Mike Tice might be looking to put the old band back together. As talks with Byron Chamberlain haven't made any progress, VU is being told that former Vikings tight ends Hunter Goodwin and Johnnie McWilliams may be brought in for tryouts and possibly signed.
* Stalin Colinet may not be out of work for long. Apparently the Super Bowl champion Patriots have an interest in the DE cut by the Vikings Thursday.
Carter Won't Be Going to Philly?
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