Cris Carter is the latest person to be featured in NFL Films' A Football Life series, which airs on NFL Network on Tuesday, Nov. 12, at 9 p.m. ET.
One of the most prolific wide receivers to ever play in the NFL, he was finally inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame this past summer, and he's recently been displaying the ring that comes with the title, as shown by NFL on ESPN:
Carter's road to the Hall of Fame wasn't straight, however, nor was it smooth.
Like so many who came before him, the legendary receiver best known for his time with the Minnesota Vikings during the 1990s made his way to the top from humble beginnings.
His story is completely unique, and it's one worth sharing. Here's a look at when and where you can catch Carter's A Football Life documentary:
Date: Tuesday, Nov. 12
Time: 9 p.m. ET
Watch: NFL Network
Trailer: Watch the official trailer here, courtesy of NFL Network.
Blessed with more God-given talent than anyone knows what to do with, Carter excelled in sports from an early age. By the time he was ready for college, he was highly recruited for both basketball and football.
He signed on with his hometown Ohio State Buckeyes and quickly became a sensational player, catching 16 touchdown passes in his first two seasons and another 11 in his junior year, earning consensus All-American status in the process.
After setting a school record with 168 receptions in his first four seasons, Carter was shockingly ruled ineligible to play his senior season after it was discovered he had signed a contract with agent Norby Walters.
Thanks to his decision to sign with an agent, Carter—a player who surely would have been a first-round pick in the NFL draft given his talent—ended up getting drafted by the Philadelphia Eagles in the fourth round of the 1987 supplemental draft.
He only caught five passes in his rookie season, but two of them went for touchdowns. He caught 17 more touchdown passes in his next two years, turning into one of the league's elite players.
Unfortunately, while Carter's career was taking off, he began using drugs and started getting into trouble off the field. Before his fourth season in the league, he was cut by head coach Buddy Ryan, who wouldn't tolerate the behavior.
This dark period of Carter's life is brought into sharper focus in the one-hour film. Ultimately, the receiver was grateful for Ryan's tough love, and he ended up bringing the old head coach to the Hall of Fame ceremony to honor him.
As noted by Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk.com, Carter called Ryan's decision “best thing that ever happened” to him. He went on to straighten out his life and signed on with the Vikings to become one of the greatest receivers to ever play in the NFL.
Finishing his career after 16 years in 2002, Carter's numbers are staggering.
In 234 career games, he caught 1,101 passes for 13,899 yards and 130 touchdowns.
Carter had to wait six years after becoming eligible for induction into the Hall of Fame and was a finalist five times before he was finally inducted in 2013.
Now, as an analyst for ESPN, Carter gets paid to talk about the next generation of NFL superstars, and he's pretty good at that, too.
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