Carter, once a rising prospect with the Cowboys after being a second-round selection in the 2001 NFL Draft, phoned the minor league team just four hours before Saturday’s (July 4) game against the Odessa Roughnecks, saying he would be unable to play, having no other excuse.
Playing in the IFL was Carter’s latest attempt at redeeming his reeling football career, hasving been sidetracked by substance abuse and run-ins with the law.
However after his latest AWOL fiasco, even the small-stage Ruff Riders had enough of Carter Country. You cannot blame the Abilene franchise, as they had previously swept two other incidents aside after signing the former Cowboys' starter as a gate attraction.
The Ruff Riders had to deal with Carter being arrested in February 2009 on drunken driving and marijuana possession charges, and then again in May 2009 for a probation violation.
Hard to believe just one year ago Carter looked to be on the reclamation road after his former head coach Bill Parcells gave him a brief tryout with the Miami Dolphins of the NFL in August 2008.
Unfortunately, the Dolphins decided not to sign Carter, as everyone, including the rest of the team’s management staff, knew the Dolphins' head executive was just doing a favor for one of his former “soft spot” players.
Under the Tuna, the former University of Georgia star quarterback had led the Cowboys to a 10-6 record and a playoff berth in 2003, before he was released by the team in training camp (2004) amidst rumors of substance abuse.
After a brief season-ending three-game starting stint with the Jets in 2004, it seemed everywhere Carter had turned to in order to jumpstart his career led to another burnt bridge—he surprisingly left the NFL with an 18-16 record as a starter.
Carter has probably run-out of options in football, as he now has the distinction of being cut by teams in the NFL, CFL (Montreal Allouettes), AFL (Kansas City Brigade), AF2 (Bossier-Shreveport Battle Wings), and IFL.
Hopefully, Carter will be able to finally pull himself together on and off the field before he is another sportsticker story. Maybe the United Football League (UFL) will give him a shot, but Carter seems to need much more help than having an unexcused absence for a game.
Lloyd Vance is a Sr. NFL Writer for Taking It to the House and an award winning member of the Pro Football Writers of America (PFWA)