Thursday, January 26, 2017
RIDERS MAKE CARTER SIGNING OFFICIAL
The veteran receiver signed as a free agent Thursday with the Saskatchewan Roughriders. The move comes two days after quarterback Glenn, who's entering his 17th CFL season, joined the club after being released this off-season by the Winnipeg Blue Bombers.
Glenn and Carter were teammates with Montreal last season before Glenn was dealt to Winnipeg on Sept. 11. Glenn started nine of the Alouettes' first 10 regular-season games but was relegated to backup duties behind Rakeem Cato after the club won just three.
"I really appreciate that (being reunited with Glenn) because last year ... I felt like we were really clicking,'' Carter said during a conference call. "The opportunity to play with him again definitely feels great.''
The six-foot-five, 205-pound Carter had 61 catches for 938 yards and five TDs in 14 games last season before being released Oct. 7. Over two-plus seasons with Montreal, Carter registered 185 catches for 2,877 yards and 17 TDs but joins the Riders with some baggage.
He was suspended for one game by the CFL last season for bumping head coach Rick Campbell of the Ottawa Redblacks after scoring a touchdown. He was also involved in an altercation with Cato.
Carter downplayed the suggestion he has a bad-boy image.
"I'm not a bad boy,'' he said. "It's just more like on the field I have an intensity that I try to have unmatched, I guess.
"If anybody wants to bring their intensity I have to go even further. That's sort of what's taken me in my career, my drive to win and that's how I play.''
Carter said his game-day persona differs drastically from how he is off the field.
"I'm very quiet outside of football, believe it or not,'' he said. "Getting along with me is no problem.
"I'm a pretty nice guy.''
Carter faced Chris Jones, the Riders' head coach/GM, while with Montreal but has never played for the veteran CFL coach. However, Carter has a sounding board in cousin Kenny Stafford, a fellow receiver who won a Grey Cup playing for Jones with Edmonton in 2015.
"I've always heard good things about him,'' Carter said. "My cousin played for him in Edmonton and always had good stuff to say.''
Carter said Saskatchewan's rabid fans and the Riders moving into a new Mosaic Stadium in 2017 factored in his decision.
"The things that stand out with Saskatchewan are the fans and being able to play in a new stadium,'' Carter said. "The pride they (fans) have, really, it's all about winning and I want to be a part of that.''
Carter said he also spoke to his father, a 2013 inductee into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, about joining the Riders.
"As much as you would consult your dad for any life decision,'' he said. "He has an expertise that's unmatched.
"He guides me a little bit but also lets me be my own man.''
Naaman Roosevelt was Saskatchewan's top receiver last year with 76 catches for 1,095 receiving yards and two TDs despite missing seven games with a knee injury. The addition of Carter - who spent the 2015 season on the practice roster of the NFL's Indianapolis Colts - will give opposing defences another big-play receiver to contend with.
"(Carter) is a supreme talent with a rare combination of size and speed that has yet to reach his full potential,'' Jones said in a statement. "Adding him to our already deep receiving core will give us multiple options and make us difficult to defend.''
Carter said joining the Riders signals a new beginning in his CFL career.
"Yeah, new team, new players, new coaches, new area, new everything,'' he said. "I never really saw myself ever leaving Montreal until the day I was cut.
"You never know what's going to happen and I'm real excited to get to Regina and be around (Riders') fans.''