There are three items a Hall of Famer receives to honor his career and mark his place among the NFL’s immortals – the gold jacket, a bust inside the Hall of Fame and a ring. Cris Carter, who was enshrined into the Pro Football Hall of Fame this past August, already has the gold jacket and a bust in Canton, Ohio.
Now, he just needs the ring.
He’ll get the ring tonight, in front of the fans who cheered him on for 12 seasons in Minnesota. Carter will receive his ring at halftime of tonight’s game in a ceremony that will feature Pro Football Hall of Fame President/Executive Director Steve Perry and Pro Football Hall of Fame Vice President of Communications/Exhibits Joe Horrigan.
By many measures, Carter authored a Hall of Fame-worthy career. He retired in 2002 after 16 seasons (12 with the Vikings) and at the time ranked second in NFL history with 130 receiving touchdowns and 1,101 receptions; those numbers still rank fourth all-time, and he added 13,899 receiving yards, as well.
And now, by the most important measure – votes cast by the Hall of Fame selection committee – Carter’s career has gone from being described as “Hall of Fame-worthy” to “Hall of Fame.”
Carter spent 12 seasons (1990-2001) with the Vikings and crafted a brilliant career. Carter was a part of Vikings teams that suffered losing seasons only twice in 12 seasons, made the playoffs eight times in his final 10 Vikings seasons, and his teams were 76-29 (including playoffs) in games in which he caught a touchdown.
Although the team’s results fluctuated during Carter’s tenure with the Vikings, his production remained consistent. Carter played in 188 games as a Viking, starting 177 of them, and he played in all 16 games of a season 11 times in 12 seasons with the Vikings. He was named to the NFL 1990s All-Decade Team, earned eight straight Pro Bowls from 1993-2000 and was selected as an All-Pro four times.
“I played with a lot of prominent receivers, but Cris Carter was by far the most talented and competitive,” Moon, also a Pro Football Hall of Famer, said. “Having Cris was like having another quarterback on the field. He was such a great student of the game and knew defenses and routes better than anyone I played with. He was able to take advantage of opponents because of how much work he put in during the week. He wanted the ball in clutch situations and made big plays when they counted most.”
Carter’s unmatched skills, durability and tireless work ethic allowed him to re-write the Vikings record book and establish marks that won’t be challenged for years to come. He is the franchise leader in receptions (1,004), receiving yards (12,383) and receiving touchdowns (110), and he set a franchise record with a reception in 111 consecutive games. Carter caught 122 passes in consecutive seasons (1994 and 1995) and holds the Vikings record for career 100-yard receiving games with 40. He was inducted into the Vikings Ring of Honor and had his #80 jersey retired on September 14, 2003.