Carter Legacy Remembered

The end of Cris Carter's football career came as most of the highlights did -- in the spotlight.

Cris Carter was never shy of the spotlight. In fact, he loved it. So, with no team to play for, it was his new employer -- HBO -- that set up a conference call press conference for all interested in hearing what C.C. had to say.

And, as usual, he had things to say.

Carter, who once held a Super Bowl press conference to say he wasn't retiring, found the spotlight Tuesday as he announced his retirement from the game.

As expected, questions leaned toward last season, where Carter said the death of Korey Stringer led to the unraveling of the team and the career of Dennis Green, both of which buckled under the stress of losing a teammate on the second day of training camp -- Carter was with Stringer when he died.

When asked about his regrets, Carter quickly pointed to not showing up on time in St. Louis, where he was almost guaranteed a job and a shot at a Super Bowl ring. He didn't say the reason he was late was because he mistakenly thought Cleveland was offering him a ton of money, but that no-show sent ripples throughout the league and left a bad taste in the mouths of many teams.

However, VU has been told Miami offered Carter the veteran minimum of $750,000 with no guarantee of starting and Carter turned them down. So, at least he can say he went out on his own terms -- turning down an offer he didn't want -- to go into retirement. However, many think if he would have just kept his mouth shut and not held press conferences that weren't necessary about leaving the Vikings, he likely would have been back and starting -- especially seeing as the Vikings have yet to replace him.

* There is no truth to the rumor that the Vikings hadn't signed a wide receiver in a last-ditch effort to re-sign Carter. That bridge was burned, and the only way Carter will return to the Vikings is if, as he hinted Tuesday, he's in an ownership group that tries to buy the Vikings.
* Carter's job at "Inside the NFL" with HBO will join him with Bob Costas, Dan Marino and Cris Colinsworth. It is said by sources inside the deal that Carter beat out Denny Green for the final spot at the HBO table.
* Matthew Hatchette, who left the Vikings as a free agent after the 2000 season only to flame out with the Jets, has signed with Oakland and will be fighting for the No. 4 receiver spot behind Tim Brown, Jerry Rice and Jerry Porter.

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