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Cris Carter urged NFL rookies to have a “fall guy”

Cris Carter

Former Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Cris Carter speaks after being selected as a Pro Football Hall of Fame inductee at an announcement before the upcoming NFL Super Bowl XLVII in New Orleans, Saturday, Feb. 2, 2013. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)


A recent ESPN feature on former 49ers linebacker Chris Borland described Borland as “appalled” by what he heard at the 2014 Rookie Symposium, when a former NFL player told the rookies that they should have a “fall guy” in their crew who would take the blame if they faced legal trouble. What ESPN failed to mention is that the former player who gave that appalling advice was an ESPN employee, Cris Carter.

Although the ESPN feature says that Borland “declined to name” the player, the writers easily could have identified Carter as the source of the comments, because the video of Carter’s presentation at the Rookie Symposium is available at

The presentation went basically how Borland described it in the ESPN feature: Carter told rookies that they should have one friend who will be willing to take the blame if they ever get into trouble. Warren Sapp, onstage along with Carter, agreed.

“If you all got a crew, you got to have a fall guy in the crew,” Carter said. “If you all have a crew, one of those fools got to know, he’s the one going to jail. We’ll get him out.”

Sapp then repeated, “We’ll get him out.”

Those comments didn’t sit well with Borland, and they likely won’t sit well with most people hearing them now. But the NFL apparently didn’t have a problem with what Carter said: His presentation was posted on the league’s own website, and Carter was invited back to speak at this year’s Rookie Symposium.

UPDATE 5:23 p.m. ET: Shortly after we posted this item, removed the video.