Tom Pelissero of 1500ESPN reports, per general manager Rick Spielman, that the team will bring in Duron Carter, the son of former receiver and current analyst Cris Carter, for the tryout.
Spielman clarified from the original report by Pelissero and ESPN's Adam Schefter that Duron would be signed as an undrafted free agent:
Like father like son: Former Vikings Hall-of-Fame WR Cris Carter's son, Alabama WR Duron Carter, is signing with Vikings today.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) April 28, 2013
The younger Carter had an up-and-down collegiate experience, to say the least. He began at Ohio State, where he caught 13 passes for 176 yards and a touchdown in his freshman year. Unfortunately, academic issues forced him off the Buckeyes roster, and he eventually landed at Coffeyville Community College.
After one year there, he went to Alabama but then left for Florida Atlantic and eventually, the NFL draft, according to Dieter Kurtenbach of the Sun Sentinel.
Despite this journey, his father gave a glowing recommendation of Duron's ability. Cris Carter told Mike Garafolo of USA Today:
I know there aren't a lot of better receivers than him in this draft. That's not a guess; I know. I know wide receivers. Yes, it might take him some time. I just believe in pro football, it's all football. You get millions of reps. And what's the worst-case scenario? Maybe it takes him 16 months. But when you see his talent, you'll be like, "He's a pro."
Cris Carter certainly does know a lot about the position. He spent 16 years in the NFL—12 with the Vikings—totaling 1,101 catches, 13,899 receiving yards and 130 touchdowns. He will be inducted into the Hall of Fame in the 2013 class.
Not surprisingly, he was quite moved when he learned that his son had signed with his former team, according to Mark Craig of the Star Tribune:
Cris Carter just called to say his great year just got better. His son, Duron Carter, a 6-4 receiver, will sign with the #Vikings today.— Mark Craig (@markcraignfl) April 28, 2013
Of course, not everyone has nice things to say about the young receiver. Garafolo also reports that his former JUCO quarterback, Cayden Cochran, said on Twitter:
The team that drafts Duron Carter will get the most lazy, whiny & non-work ethic player the nfl has ever seen. I played w/him. Horrible person & will be a complete cancer to any team on the board.
It seems obvious that these character concerns played a role to keep his stock low enough to not be taken in the seven rounds of the NFL draft.
The future will indicate which side is right in this situation. However, the Vikings must see enough in Carter to believe he could eventually help the team.
Minnesota does not have many established players at the position on the roster, especially after trading Percy Harvin to the Seattle Seahawks. The team signed veteran Greg Jennings to a five-year deal and then drafted Cordarrelle Patterson with the No. 29 overall pick, but there are still spots on the roster to be filled.
NFL Network's Ian Rapoport believes that this is a good situation for Carter:
The young receiver will get his chance to show that his previous issues are in the past. With obvious talent and in a good situation with the Vikings, he is likely to get a long look before the start of the regular season.