Cris Carter Told NFL Rookies to Get 'Fall Guy' for Potential Legal Trouble

Matt FitzgeraldCorrespondent IIIAugust 23, 2015

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Hall of Fame wide receiver Cris Carter told those in attendance at the 2014 NFL rookie symposium to anoint a "fall guy" among their friends, should they ever run into trouble off the field.

Yahoo Sports' Frank Schwab passed along the key remarks Carter made to the impressionable young men last year:

I let my homeboys know, y'all want to keep rolling like this, then I need to know who gonna be the fall guy, who's going to be driving. Y'all not going to all do the right stuff now. So I've got to teach you how to get around all this stuff, too. If you're going to have a crew, one of them fools got to know he going to jail. We'll get him out. ... If you're going to have a crew, make sure they understand, can't nothing happen to you. Your name can't be in lights, under no circumstances. You all understand that?

Rich Hill of Pats Pulpit provided a vine of Carter's comments:

This story corroborates what recently retired San Francisco 49ers linebacker Chris Borland claimed he heard at the symposium in an interview with ESPN The Magazine's Steve Fainaru and Mark Fainaru-Wada. Borland wouldn't specify who implored the newly minted pros to adopt such a repulsive strategy for off-field conduct, but now it's been confirmed to be Carter.

The article described Borland as "appalled."

"I was just sitting there thinking, 'Should I walk out? What am I supposed to do?'" he said.

Carter went on Twitter to apologize for his remarks: "Seeing that video has made me realize how wrong I was. I was brought there to educate young people and instead I gave them very bad advice. Every person should take responsibility for his own actions. I’m sorry and I truly regret what I said that day.”

The NFL released a statement in the wake of Carter's comments, via Charles Robinson of Yahoo Sports:

FanDuel's Michael Schottey weighed in on the controversy:

Prior to starring for the Minnesota Vikings in the prime of his NFL career, Carter's own trials away from the gridiron almost derailed him from the start. The Philadelphia Eagles released Carter early on because of drug and alcohol abuse.

For someone who was able to turn his life around in such drastic fashion and carve out one of the better careers ever by a receiver, it's surprising Carter would advise young players against holding themselves accountable for unsavory actions.

The NFL has dealt with high-profile player arrests and had to revamp its personal conduct policy, particularly due to the domestic-violence controversies involving Ray Rice and Greg Hardy.

Granted, it's possible for Carter to explain his comments were taken out of context, but he went to great lengths to explain how to cast blame elsewhere for misdeeds. That's an ideal the league can't afford to have anyone promoting.