Should Bengals Be Pursuing Duron Carter?


May 3, 2012; Eden Prairie, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Duron Carter (13) does stretching exercises prior to drills at the Minnesota Vikings rookie minicamp at Winter Park. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

Duron Carter is this year’s prize from the Canadian Football league. The Montreal Alouettes standout receiver is set to become a free agent following the conclusion of the CFL’s 2014 season; the Grey Cup championship game will be played on November 30th.

Carter is a 6’5″, 205 pound receiver who possesses good speed and hands. He likely could’ve attracted attention in the NFL draft, but numerous academic issues have kept him from playing much. Carter played his freshman year (2009) at Ohio State and produced 13 receptions for 176 yards and one touchdown. Academic issues forced him to leave the Big 10 for Coffeyville Community College (KS) the following year.

At Coffeyville, Carter caught 44 passes for 690 yards and 10 touchdowns in just a nine game span. He may have been productive at the JUCO school, but he didn’t earn himself much support.  His quarterback, Cayden Cochran, had this to say regarding Carter.

"“The team that drafts Duron Carter will get the most lazy, whiny, & non-work ethic player the NFL has ever seen. I played w/ him. Horrible person & will be a complete cancer to any team on the board.”"

In 2011, Carter decided to return to the big time college ranks when he transferred to Alabama, but Carter never played a game in the SEC due to academic issues once more.

In August 2012, Carter transferred to Florida Atlantic University, but his hardship waiver was denied, which meant he couldn’t play for the season. Carter spent some time on the scout team, but in December he decided to leave FAU and declare for the 2013 draft.

With so little work to his name, Duron Carter went undrafted, but received a workout with the Vikings following the draft. Carter did not receive a contract offer and then chose to sign with the CFL’s Montreal Alouettes. This is where he’s spent the last two years of his life. While in the CFL, Carter has been largely impressive.

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Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports reports that somewhere in the range of 10 NFL teams have shown interest in Duron Carter who can workout for teams on December 1 and can officially sign in February.

La Canfora doesn’t report the Bengals as one of those teams, but it’s possible they are amongst the 10.  The Bengals found success with another former CFL player, Andrew Hawkins.  They also have a history and reputation for helping troubled players get their careers back on track.  Both of these realities are selling points the team can use to help lure Duron Carter to Cincinnati.

The challenge for the Bengals would be playing time.  The Bengals currently possess an All-Pro receiver in A.J. Green and a budding star in Mohamed Sanu.  This while they have a talented receiver in Marvin Jones returning next year who, if healthy, already proved in his merit in 2013.  The Bengals also possess a talented pass catching tight end in Tyler Eifert who, like Jones, has struggled with injuries this year.

But the Bengals have numerous receivers who are free agents following the 2014 season and, following next year, Green, Sanu, and Jones are all free agents themselves.  It seems unlikely that Carter would want to wait for an opportunity in two years, but an opportunity in the coming year may entice him; the Bengals could certainly allow him to battle for their third receiver spot at the very least.

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It’s likely that Carter will want a strong opportunity right out of the gate, but the Bengals can sell their successful history of helping players find their desired careers and they even have experience with a player from the CFL; Andrew Hawkins did just sign a four year/$13.6 million deal with the Browns this off-season.

If Duron Carter is humbled by his difficult history, he might consider joining the Bengals and taking the opportunity to build his career successfully the way so many have other players have in recent years.  If he chooses not to consider their offer, the Bengals aren’t desperate for receivers anyway.  Adding talent is always a good thing, especially when the market says it’ll likely come cheap.  If Carter proves he’s been humbled over the years, the Bengals would be prudent to use their strong selling points to pursue the talented wide receiver.