Minnesota Vikings legend Cris Carter is one of the best wide receivers to ever play in the National Football League. In addition, he is one of the greatest NFL players to never win a Super Bowl. According to former Vikings receiver Qadry Ismail, there is a reason for that.
Carter is set to be inducted into the Hall of Fame this weekend, but Ismail wanted to remind everyone on Sunday that the eight-time Pro Bowler had plenty of flaws.
“To be perfectly honest with you, Cris was a bona fide diva,” Ismail told SiriusXM Mad Dog Radio, via Pro Football Talk. “…To me, the greatest guy that I played with was Shannon Sharpe, because he raised the game up for me as a player. I know there would be times when we’d get in the huddle and he’d look over at me and go, ‘Q, we need to make a play.’ Or whatever it might have been in that moment. And I swear to you it would be like, ‘Oh my god, I’m going to make a play because Shannon just called me out.’ And sure enough, boom, it would be there. Shannon was that kind of a guy that you just knew that he was in your corner.
“You couldn’t say the same thing for Cris Carter. You couldn’t say the same thing as far as his attitude towards his teammates. You couldn’t say the same thing as far as his attitude as far as the coaching staff. You knew that he had a selfishness to him that was an extreme selfishness.”
Carter always wanted the ball, which some would argue is the mark of a great player. He probably wouldn’t even argue if you told him he demanded the ball a bit too much. However, he might disagree with Ismail over the notion that his selfishness prevented him from winning a championship.
“Could he flat out make plays? Absolutely,” Ismail said. “But there’s a reason why they didn’t go all the way and win Super Bowls. There’s a reason why, that his talent was good, but when you talk about Jerry Rice talent you also talk about that team elevating it to the next level to win championships. When you talk about Shannon’s talent you are talking about that team elevating and winning championships. When you are talking about talent, there’s one thing to have talent but, to me, if you’re a complete, amazing football player, others around you rise up to whatever their level of talent is.”
That’s debatable. It’s tough to argue that a guy who hauled in 130 touchdowns and racked up more than 13,000 yards in his career held his team back. I guess it’s possible, but it sounds like Ismail is exaggerating a bit. It also sounds like Carter wasn’t the best teammate, which probably isn’t shocking news to anyone.