Cris Carter Minnesota Vikings & Philadelphia Eagles & Miami Dolphins
"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."
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.