NFL Hall of Fame: Where's Cris Carter?

Scott OttersenCorrespondent IFebruary 8, 2008

I am having a hard time understanding the vote for this year's NFL Hall of Fame inductees.

How is it that Cris Carter did not get voted in?

He is one of the greatest receivers ever to play the game, incorporating every aspect of the role a receiver is supposed to play. He had good speed, a great set of hands (maybe the best ever), good route running, great blocking, the know-how to be a good possession receiver, and the ability to break the big play. 

And, yet, the Hall of Fame decides Art Monk is more worthy?

Yes, I understand that Monk has been knocking on the door longer, but with Cris Carter on the same ballot this time around, Art Monk should have either been enshrined alongside Carter, or not enshrined at all, with Carter getting all the votes he received.

We are talking about the man with the second-most receptions in the history of the NFL (1,101, Jerry Rice had 1,549), the second-most receiving touchdowns in history (130, Jerry had 197), fifth all-time in overall touchdowns (131), and sixth in yards receiving (13,899).

He was voted into the Pro Bowl eight times in his career. He was an All-Pro four times in his career. He led the league in receptions once, and was in the top five five other times.  He had eight straight 1,000 yards receiving seasons. And, he led the league in receiving touchdowns three different times.

He did all this with quarterbacks the likes of Randall Cunningham, Warren Moon, Brad Johnson, Randall Cunningham (again), and finally Daunte Culpepper. All throughout his career he had good quarterbacks, who he made better. It takes a good quarterback to get the best out of his receivers. Jerry Rice had Joe Montana and Steve Young for most of his career, and look what he did with them.

Now, put those numbers in comparison with Art Monk, and it is not even a contest.

Monk had the receptions total (940, seventh all time), but not much after that.  He was twelfth in receiving yards (12,721), thirty-first in receiving touchdowns (68), and eighty-third in total touchdowns (68).

Monk was a three-time Pro Bowler, and a three time All-Pro. He led the league in receptions once, and was in the top five two other times. His only other good stat after that was the 1985 season, when he led the league in receiving yards per game (81.7), but was third in receiving yards, due to missing a game.

And, Monk did all that with Joe Theismann (one of NFL's greatest quarterbacks), Jay Schroeder (a Pro Bowl QB), Doug Williams (led them to a Super Bowl victory), Mark Rypien (another Pro Bowl QB), Heath Shuler, and Gus Frerotte as his quarterbacks. 

Save Shuler and Frerotte and I'd say the quarterbacks were about even between the two of them. And look at the difference in numbers.

My mind is boggled as to why Cris Carter did not get voted into the Hall of Fame. 

Why is he not a first-time ballot Hall of Famer? I would equate this to the Hall of Fame not voting Barry Sanders in on his first ballot (which they did). They both had similar careers when looked at on a statistical basis and where they ended up on the all-time lists.

Yet, Sanders was a guarantee to get voted in his first ballot. 

Why not Cris Carter?