McCombs: Carter Won't Be Back

The Vikings won't be the team Cris Carter ends up with in 2002 regardless of recent snafus in getting a new deal signed, according to owner Red McCombs.

Cris Carter had a terrible season in 2001. Not so much on the field, but in perception. When he was shown often during the Week 2 loss at Chicago berating Daunte Culpepper, Dennis Green, special teams players and assistant coaches on the sidelines, it was made clear that his intensity wasn't being seen as leadership.

That perception has led some to believe that Carter could end up with the Vikings after a series of bad p.r. moves leave him still without a team.

At the owners meetings in Orlando, Red McCombs said he finds it highly improbable that Carter would return to the Vikings under any circumstances, assuming he'll hook up with another team he believes has a better shot at the Super Bowl.

In a related matter from Orlando, VU has been told Mike Martz has gone on record by saying that, even though he had discussed "revisiting" the Carter situation after the owners meetings, he will no longer entertain the possibility of bringing him in.

Combined with rejections from Philly, Cleveland and New Orleans and a "wait and see" approach from Miami, Carter remains without a team. One team seen as an option was Indianapolis and Tony Dungy, but the Colts, too, have backed away from Carter, instead looking elsewhere to fill their wide receiver needs by signing former Viking Qadry Ismail Monday.

If you take the Vikings off the list, Carter's possibilities are slipping and, even though many thought Carter could talk McCombs into bringing him back if free agency failed, it now looks to be official that Carter will no longer be in the Vikings plans.

* The Vikings aren't through looking for late signings of free agents heading into the hard core draft preparation phase. Visits are scheduled this week for CBs Doug Evans and Fred Vinson, WRs Willie Jackson and Tony Simmons and punter Matt Turk.
* NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue said the league won't change its policy concerning heat-related procedures during training camp. After reviewing the exhaustive reports from the Vikings after the death of Korey Stringer, Tagliabue said the Vikings did all they could after the incident and that changes weren't warranted since the best available care was given.
* Is Byron Chamberlain better than Freddie Jones formerly of San Diego? If not, Chamberlain may have been wise to sign the Vikings' offer of $1.6 million a season last week. Jones signed with Arizona Monday for three years, $5.1 million -- strikingly similar to what the Vikings offered Chamberlain.
* The owners meeting rumor mill has begun churning and the latest is that Jeff George expects to be back in the NFL next year and one team being prominently mentioned is Brian Billick's Ravens, which run essentially the same offense the Vikings did when George was with the team in 1999.
* The owners are looking at cracking down on piping in loud music or crowd noise during games where the visiting team has the ball. The Vikings have become quite adept at blaring music as a QB is trying to get a call in his helmet headphones from the sideline. A team won't be penalized for an infraction, but clubs will be fined -- apparently quite severely -- for infractions.
* The NFL's competition committee voted down a proposal from the Kansas City Chiefs to allow all 53 players on a roster to suit up on game days. Teams will continue to field 47 players with six deactivated.
* Cleveland won a coin flip with Atlanta to finalize the first-round draft order. An earlier coin flip saw Tennessee beat the Giants. The formula for breaking ties for draft position left two pairs of ties, which means the Titans will pick 14th, the Giants 15th, the Browns 16th and the Falcons 17th in the first round.
* In NFC Central news, the Chicago Bears have apparently dropped out of the chase for Drew Bledsoe and the Patriots, like Cris Carter, are quickly losing suitors for a trade for Bledsoe.

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