All Cris Carter did, to paraphrase a popular Chris Bermanism that originally came from Buddy Ryan, was catch touchdowns. But that and Carter's full statistical profile weren't enough in today's election to the Pro Football Hall of Fame, and he will have to wait at least one more year to be enshrined in Canton.
Carter was one of the most productive receivers in the NFL during his 12-year career. He ranks eighth all time in touchdowns with 131, and fourth in receiving touchdowns with 130. He's also eighth in receiving yards with 13,899.
Carter might not be as prolific a scorer as Berman et al. would make him out to be, but he lead the NFL in receiving touchdowns for a season three times, though he only caught more than 13 touchdowns in a season once, in 1995. He was, however, very consistent: he had eight straight years of 78 or more catches and over 1,000 receiving yards from 1993 to 1999, and started every game during that stretch.
We'll remember Carter principally as a Minnesota Viking, but he neither began nor ended his career with the Norsemen. Carter was drafted by the Eagles, then moved to Minnesota after being released following the 1989 season. And after being let go by the Vikings after the 2001 season, Carter spent part of an ill-fated final year with the Dolphins, recording just eight receptions for 66 yards and a touchdown.
Had Carter maintained his peak level of production for a few more years, he would have a nearly ironclad case for Hall of Fame induction. But his stats, as they are, leave voters with a player whose career resembles those of contemporaries Andre Rison and Keyshawn Johnson. That bodes ill for Carter's Hall of Fame chances, as does the failure to even make the cut to 10 finalists this year.