Cris Carter

Class of 2013

Receiving yards








"Every minute that I stepped on that field from the time that I warmed up, I was trying to put on a show for those people," Carter said. "So they would be proud. I come from some humble beginnings, and I just believed that when people pay their money, hard-earned money, that they deserve a certain level of performance."

Enshrinement Speech

Career Highlights

Cris Carter, a fourth round pick of the Philadelphia Eagles in the 1987 Supplemental Draft, started his pro career on a high note as his first NFL catch came on a 22-yard touchdown play in a game against St. Louis Cardinals.

Scoring touchdowns turned out to be something for which Carter became known for during his 16-season NFL career. By the time he retired following the 2002 NFL season, Carter had scored 130 touchdowns which ranked second most in NFL history.

Carter's career started slowly as he showed occasional flashes of brilliance during his three seasons with the Eagles but consistent success did not begin until after he joined the Minnesota Vikings in 1990. Over the next 12 seasons in Minnesota, Carter developed into one of the game's most prolific pass receivers. He led the Vikings in receptions for 10 straight seasons (1991-2000) but it was his 1993 season when he raised his play to a new level. That year, he recorded the first of eight straight 1,000-yard seasons and also earned his first of eight consecutive Pro Bowl berths.

The following season, Carter set a then-NFL record for receptions in a season when he hauled in 122 passes for 1,256 yards and scored 7 touchdowns. His finest season came one year later when, in 1995, he registered his second straight 122-catch season and amassed a career-high 1,371 yards and 17 touchdowns. His two-year total of 244 catches was the most in NFL history.

Carter, who held or shared 19 Vikings team records, decided to retire following the 2001 season. However, after injuries decimated the Miami Dolphins' receiving corps in 2002, Carter returned to the field and played five games for the Dolphins that season before he permanently retired.

Known for his durability, Carter played full 16-game seasons in 13 of his 16 years in the NFL. He finished his 234-game career as the NFL's second all-time leading receiver with 1,101 receptions for 13,899 yards. A member of the NFL's All-Decade Team of the 1990s, Carter had 10 or more touchdowns in a season six times and led the NFL in receiving touchdowns three times (1995, 1997, and 1999). He recorded 70 or more catches in a season 10 times and had 100-yard receiving games 42 times during his career.

Year Team G Rec Yds Avg TD
1987 Philadelphia 9 5 84 16.8 2
1988 Philadelphia 16 39 761 19.5 6
1989 Philadelphia 16 45 605 13.4 11
1990 Minnesota 16 27 413 15.3 3
1991 Minnesota 16 72 962 13.4 5
1992 Minnesota 12 53 681 12.8 6
1993 Minnesota 16 86 1,071 12.5 9
1994 Minnesota 16 122 1,256 10.3 7
1995 Minnesota 16 122 1,371 11.2 17
1996 Minnesota 16 96 1,163 12.1 10
1997 Minnesota 16 89 1,069 12.0 13
1998 Minnesota 16 78 1,011 13.0 12
1999 Minnesota 16 90 1,241 13.8 13
2000 Minnesota 16 96 1,274 13.3 9
2001 Minnesota 16 73 871 11.9 6
2002 Miami 5 8 66 8.3 1
Career Total 234 1,101 13,899 12.6 130
Additional Career Statistics: Rushing: 13-41; Passing: 1-0-0; Kick Returns: 13-244; Two-Point Conversions: 5; Fumble Recovery for TD: 1

Championship Games

1998 NFC – Atlanta Falcons 30, Minnesota Vikings 27
Carter started the game at wide receiver. He had six receptions for 67 yards.

2000 NFC – New York Giants 41, Minnesota Vikings 0
Carter started the game at wide receiver. He had three receptions for 24 yards.

All-Pro: 1994 (AP, PFWA, SN) • 1999 (AP, PFWA)

All-Pro Second Team: 1995 (AP)

All-NFC: 1994 (UPI, PW) • 1999 (PW)

All-NFC Second Team: 1995 (UPI) • 1996 (UPI)

(8) – 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001

(at time of his retirement following 2002 season)

• [Tied for 1st] Most Two-Point Conversions, Season – 3 (1997)
• [2nd] Most Two-Point Conversions, Career – 5
• [2nd] Most Pass Receptions, Career – 1,101
• [2nd] Most Touchdowns Receiving, Career – 130
• [3rd] Most Seasons, 50 or More Receptions – 11
• [Tied for 3rd] Most Pass Receptions, Season – 122 (1994, 1995)
• [Tied for 3rd] Most Seasons, 1,000 or More Yards, Receiving – 8
• [Tied for 3rd] Most Seasons Leading League, Receiving Touchdowns – 3 (1995, 1997, 1999)
• [Tied for 3rd] Most Touchdowns Receiving, Season – 17 (1995)

Pro Bowl Records

• [2nd] Most Pass Receptions, Career – 27
• [Tied for 2nd] Most Receiving Touchdowns, Career – 3
• [3rd] Most Receiving Yards, Career – 335
• [Tied for 3nd] Most Touchdowns, Career – 3

Eagles records held by Carter
(Records through the 1989 season, Carter's final season with Philadelphia)

• [Tied for 2nd] Most Touchdowns, Season – 11 (1989)

Vikings records held by Carter
(Records through the 2001 season, Carter's final season with Minnesota)

• [1st] Most Touchdowns, Career – 110
• [1st] Most Seasons Leading Team, Receptions – 10 (1991-2000)
• [1st] Most Consecutive Seasons Leading Team, Receptions – 10 (1991-2000)
• [1st] Most Receptions, Career – 1,004
• [1st] Most Receptions, Season – 122 (1994, 1995)
• [1st] Most Consecutive Games with a Receptions, Career – 111
• [1st] Most Seasons 50 or More Receptions – 11 (1991-2001)
• [1st] Most Seasons, 1,000 or More Yards Receiving – 8 (1993-2000)
• [1st] Most Games 100 or More Yards Receiving, Career – 40
• [1st] Most Yards Receiving, Career – 12,383
• [1st] Most Touchdowns Receiving, Career – 110
• [1st] Most Yards Rushing-Receiving, Career – 11,407
• [1st] Most Combined Net Yards, Career – 12,410
• [Tied for 1st] Most Seasons Leading Team, Touchdowns – 5 (1993, 1995-1997, 1999)
• [Tied for 1st] Most Consecutive Games Scoring a Touchdown – 7 (1999)
• [Tied for 1st] Most Seasons Leading Team, Receiving Yards – 5 (1991-1995)
• [Tied for 1st] Most Consecutive Games 100 or More Yards Receiving – 4 (1999)
• [Tied for 1st] Most Touchdowns Receiving, Season – 17 (1995)
• [Tied for 1st] Most Consecutive Games, Receiving Touchdown – 7 (1999)
• [2nd] Most Points, Career – 670
• [2nd] Most Receptions, Season – 96 (1996, 2000)
• [2nd] Most Receptions, Game – 14 (at Arizona, Oct. 2, 1994)
• [2nd] Most Consecutive Games Scoring a Receiving Touchdown – 6 (1996-1997; 1998-1999)
• [Tied for 2nd] Most Touchdowns, Season – 17 (1995)
• [Tied for 2nd] Most Consecutive Games Scoring a Touchdown – 6 (1996-1997; 1998-1999)
• [Tied for 2nd] Most Touchdowns Receiving, Game – 3 (vs. Miami, Sept. 25, 1994; vs. Indianapolis, Dec. 21, 1997; at Chicago, Nov. 14, 1999)
• [Tied for 2nd] Most Consecutive Games Season Leading Team, Rushing-Receiving – 3 (1993-1995)
• [Tied for 3rd] Most Receptions, Game – 12 (vs. New Orleans, Nov. 6, 1994; vs. Houston, Oct. 8, 1995; at Arizona, Nov. 12, 1995; vs. New Orleans, Nov. 19, 1995; at San Francisco, Dec. 18, 1995)
• [3rd] Most Yards Receiving, Season – 1,371 (1995)
• [3rd] Most Games 100 or More Yards Receiving, Season – 6 (2000)
• [3rd] Most Touchdowns Receiving, Season – 13 (1997, 1999)

Post-Season Records

• [1st] Most Touchdowns Receiving, Game – 2 (at San Francisco, Jan. 3, 1998)
• [2nd] Most Points Scored, Career – 50

NFL Statistical Championships
Pass Receiving Titles: 1994

NFC Statistical Championships
Pass Receiving Titles: 1994

Team Statistical Championships
Pass Receiving Titles: 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000
Scoring Titles: 1989P, 1997

P Philadelphia Eagles All other titles with Minnesota Vikings

• 1990s All-Decade Team
• 1999 Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year
• 1999 Byron "Whizzer" White Award (NFLPA)

Year Team W L T Division Finish
1987 Philadelphia Eagles 7 8 0 (4th)
1988 Philadelphia Eagles 10 6 0 (1st)
1989 Philadelphia Eagles 11 5 0 (2nd)
1990 Minnesota Vikings 6 10 0 (5th)
1991 Minnesota Vikings 8 8 0 (3rd)
1992 Minnesota Vikings 11 5 0 (1st)
1993 Minnesota Vikings 9 7 0 (2nd)
1994 Minnesota Vikings 10 6 0 (1st)
1995 Minnesota Vikings 8 8 0 (4th)
1996 Minnesota Vikings 9 7 0 (2nd)
1997 Minnesota Vikings 9 7 0 (4th)
1998 Minnesota Vikings 15 1 0 (1st)
1999 Minnesota Vikings 10 6 0 (2nd)
2000 Minnesota Vikings 11 5 0 (1st)
2001 Minnesota Vikings 5 11 0 (4th)
2002 Miami Dolphins 9 7 0 (3rd)

Full Name: Christopher Darin Carter

Birthdate: Nov. 25, 1965

Birthplace: Troy, Ohio

High School: Middletown (OH)

Elected to Pro Football Hall of Fame: Feb. 2, 2013

Enshrined into Pro Football Hall of Fame: Aug. 3, 2013

Other Members of Class of 2013: Larry Allen, Curley Culp, Jonathan Ogden, Bill Parcells, Dave Robinson, Warren Sapp

Pro Career: 16 seasons, 234 games

Drafted: 4th round of 1987 Supplemental Draft by the Philadelphia Eagles

Uniform: 80

Pro Football Hall of Fame Field at Fawcett Stadium
August 3, 2013

Cris Carter:
O-H!  O-H!  Welcome to the home of professional football, Canton, Ohio.  And I happen to be one of the few people who have been enshrined in the Hall of Fame who were born and raised in the State of Ohio.  First of all, I must thank the Selection Committee.  It's an unbelievable process, a tedious task.  I know the way they go about their job to try to get it right.  I appreciate the process that you have to go to be a Hall of Famer.  I'm so glad, regardless that whatever you've done, it's not a slam dunk.
We have the greatest Hall of all the Halls, and to be able to join these men on this stage in football heaven is the greatest day of my life.  Now, I never won any championships, but I played for a lot of good teams.  And the first team I'd like to recognize, and I'd like them to stand would be my family members who are seated to my left.  Please stand.  I appreciate everything you've done for me.
I was very, very fortunate.  My mom raised seven kids by herself, and I did look up to you guys as football players.  I can't lie.  But my hero growing up was a guy by the name of Butch Carter.  He was the best basketball player in the State of Ohio.  He was also my father figure.  He was my role model as an athlete.  He did everything the way you're supposed to do it, conducted himself, dressed in the manner, did well in school, worked extra jobs, helped his mom, and Butch Carter today as your baby brother goes into the Hall, you need to know you're my hero.
To my lovely sisters who have supported me in so many ways, I appreciate the sacrifices you guys have made.  I appreciate every meal you cooked for me.  I appreciate every time you did my football pants.  I appreciate every time you laced up my basketball sneakers, and I heard your voice every time in the crowd saying go, Cris, go.  Ever since I was a little boy, you ladies have always taught me how to be a gentleman, how to handle a lady.  And for what you did in my life, I'm forever indebted to you.  Hall of Famers, my sisters, I love you.
I'm very, very fortunate that my best friend happens to be my brother.  A guy that I've been in business with, a guy that I've idolized and he used to let me hang out with him and his buddies, John Carter, as they enshrine me today, you're going into the Hall of Fame.
I've always been on good teams.  My mom moved us from Troy when I was 7 years old, and I moved to a place called Middletown, because there were supposed to be opportunities there.  Yes, I recognize Middletown, that's where I'm from.  242 miles from George Halas Drive to the housing project that I grew up in, People's Place.  All the support, what a great community to grow up in as a youngster.  But there are four individuals that I met when I was young, and they became my best friends.  Toogy, Jimmy, Al, Dune we call him, and Dwight.  Stand up.  I played football with these dudes since I was 8 years old, and I still talk to them every week.  We've been through some hard times together, we have struggled through each other's lives, but we have stuck together.
We made a commitment when we were younger, and y'all should know this, man.  As y'all's boy goes into the Hall of Fame, you go into the Hall tonight.
Ohio State, first of all, to all the Buckeye fans, from the bottom of my heart, I sincerely apologize for me signing with a sports agent and losing my eligibility my senior year.  That is the only regret I have in my athletic career is that I couldn't play for the Buckeyes as a senior.  Buckeye fans, Cris Carter says, I'm sorry.  To all my Buckeye teammates, especially those who took care of me, Keith Byars, Pepper Johnson, Jim Lachey, Kurt Loudermilk, William White, Greg Rogan, Dwight Smith, guys that looked after me.
I've always had good teams that I've played on.  All you Buckeyes, all my teammates, all you guys in attendance, I greatly appreciate it.
My teammates from Philadelphia where I was drafted, the Philadelphia Eagles organization, they took a chance on me.  Buddy Ryan drafted me, and he tried to grow me up in the league.  What Buddy Ryan did was the best thing that ever happened for me when he cut me and told me I couldn't play for his football team.  But he told me a story.  He told me the night before he went on and talked to his wife, and he asked his wife what he should do.  And his wife told him, don't cut Cris Carter.  He's going to do something special with his life.  So Buddy Ryan, and your lovely wife, I thank you.  You're going into the hall with me tonight.
Minnesota Vikings fans there was never a time in Minnesota I felt uncomfortable.  Based on the teammates I played with, six guys in the Hall of Fame, five of us played in Minnesota, Randall McDaniel, unbelievable left guard, one of the best human beings you could ever meet.  Big Zimm, left tackle, played with him a few years, never practiced with him in training camp, never wanted to practice, Big Zimm, Hall of Famer.  Little Muscle, Johnny Randle, the hardest working man I've ever been around.  Warren Moon, who I played only two years with, I only caught 244 passes and 24 touchdowns in two years from Warren Moon.
I've always had good teams around me, and guys you set a standard, and I appreciate that standard you set going to work.  You guys showed me what it meant to be a pro, and you guys helped me in the transition.  You knew I had tremendous issues, but you never held that against me, and I appreciate it that now I stand here with you.  I'm forever indebted to you.
To the current team I'm on with ESPN, Shefty, Mort, Key, Tommy, Coach, and Boom, thank you for all your support through the last five years of just missing on getting into the hall.  Thank you for saying the right things, because it's tough when you don't make it.  I appreciate my family at ESPN, and I appreciate the support you've given me through the years.
In talking to all the Hall of Famers over the last several days, it's been an unbelievable experience for me.  The one thing that I see in common is every one of these guys talks about four or five people they've met on the way to football heaven.
Let me introduce you to a few people I've met on my way to football heaven, because that's where I am right now.  My mama, Joyce, stand up, please.  Now you should know that woman right there dropped out of high school at 17, had seven kids, went back and finished her high school diploma when she was about 40, and when she was 50, she ended up with her masters.
Mama, I got to tell you, I didn't have to wait to get a call from the hall to tell me I was a Hall of Famer.  You've been telling me since I was little.  You told me everything that's ever happened in my life has happened.  But, mom, I've got to tell you.  I have to apologize.  I'm so sorry for the bumpy flight and the bumpy ride, but I got to tell you, mama, it's a smooth landing.  Sit down, mama.  You in the Hall of Fame.  Sit down.
The second person I met that was critical on my way to football heaven was my high school football coach, Bill Conley.  Bill Conley, where are you?  Stand up and be recognized.  This guy right here came into my life when I was 17 years old.  I was one of the best basketball players in the state of Ohio.  I had a brother in the NBA, and I was only playing football to stay in shape.  He told me, looked me straight in the eye and said, Son, you have a better chance to be Lynn Swann than you do Isiah Thomas.
And Coach Conley, I appreciate the football you taught me.  I appreciate you taught me how to play the game.  I appreciate how you taught me how to prepare for the game.  Coach Conley, I hate to say it, but I wake up every day coaching kids.  I idolize you, coach.  I try to coach my high school kids just like my high school coach.  Bill Conley, everybody.
Third person I encountered, I saw her going across the campus of Ohio State.  I told my roommate, Yo, man, I'm going to marry that girl.  Been married to her for 23 years.
Through all the things we've been through.  I appreciate your sacrifice.  I remember early in my career you told me, Cris, I had a dream and I was going to be successful, but if you want to pursue pro football, I'm willing to put my dream on the back burner, because I believe in you.  Melanie, baby, you in the hall.
The Minnesota Vikings, we have one of the best employee assistance programs, cutting edge as far as substance abuse, people struggling with it and our ownership at the time was a group of people, but one of the owners was named Wheelock Whitney.  When the Vikings acquired me from Philadelphia, like most pro teams, they don't know the intel on the player until they get the paperwork, but they had already had my contract by then.  But Wheelock Whitney hooked me up with a good friend of his, whose name is Betty Trilegi, and she happens to be one of the best friends a person could ever have.  The reason why, she didn't teach me how to catch or run routes, but she taught me how I could live a life and have power over my life.  And my demons didn't have to always haunt me.
She asked me on September 19, she said, Cris, can you just not have a drink for one week?  And since September 19, 1990, because of Betty Trilegi, and Wheelock Whitney, I've been able to keep that program together.  And but for them, I would not be going into the hall, and I greatly appreciate and I honor them tonight.
And the fifth person I met was the minister of defense, and his name was Reggie White.  I grew up in a single parent home.  Reggie White, when I was 22, was the first man to tell me he loved me.  And he said, Cris, through God all things are possible.
Now there might be a lot of people you might question where they're at, but I know, Big Dog.  I know you looking down, and I know you're happy with me.  I appreciate you, Reggie.  I love you.
Four things you should know before you leave the Hall of Fame about Cris Carter, I won't apologize.  I love God with all my heart.  I love my family, and I love my friends who stuck with me.  And just like these guys, I love football.  I love this game.  This game gave me identity.  It gave me a sense of purpose.  And for an African American man, it's a great opportunity in America to be able to play football.
The number four thing that you should know about Cris Carter, before you leave here is, Buckeye born and bred, now HOF er, even after I'm dead.  Thank you.
Video Presenter: Duron Carter presents his father, Cris