DeAndre Carter has been through more cut days than he can remember.
Always with the same result.
“It’s pretty nerve-wracking, especially because I’ve been through it before and it hasn’t really come out the way I’ve wanted it to,” Carter said.
“Just going to try to relax, take my mind off it, catch a movie or something. But I feel like I’ve done everything I can.”
Carter, the Eagles’ 25-year-old receiver who’s gone from unknown training camp longshot to legit 53-man roster candidate, has definitely done everything he can.
In a fair and just world, there’s a roster spot waiting for him when final cuts are announced at 4 p.m. Saturday.
How do you not root for this kid?
Has been released five times by four teams but keeps bouncing back. Dedicated his career to his dying brother in 2013, promising Kaylan he wouldn’t quit until he made it in the NFL.
And then he goes out in these four preseason games and makes plays in every one.
“Honestly, I just feel like the Eagles gave me a great opportunity to go out and showcase how I can play football,” Carter said late Thursday night, after the Eagles’ preseason finale against the Jets.
“Not saying other places didn’t give me an equal chance as the Eagles did, but I feel like I made more of this opportunity. I came in and played better and made more plays than I’ve made in other camps, other preseasons, and the numbers show it. Best camp I’ve had.”
He wasn’t here for OTAs and signed a few days into training camp but still produced in each game:
Steelers: 1 catch for 20 yards
His 178 receiving yards ranked seventh in the NFL this preseason, and his 17.8 yards per catch ranked third.
“There’s always stuff to get better at, but I can definitely say every time I step on the field I give it everything I got,” Carter said.
“I base the day off — whether it was a successful day or not — can I go home and look in the mirror and be OK with what I put on film and I feel like I’ve done that.
“Now hope the coaches feel that way too and want me to be here with the Eagles.”
Trust God. Trust the Process! #KC5🙏🏾— DeAndre Carter (@DCarter_2) August 31, 2018
What’s working against Carter? He’s 5-foot-8. He’s never played in an NFL regular-season game. At 25, he’s older than most prospects.
What’s working in his favor? With Alshon Jeffery expected to miss the start of the season, the Eagles are thin at wideout behind Nelson Agholor. And Carter made plays in each preseason game, and that consistency speaks volumes.
“That’s what this league is about,” he said. “From the top of our receiver list to the bottom of our receiver list, everybody can play, and in this league, everybody can play.
“But the guys who can stick around, the guys who can have 10-year careers, 15-year careers, are consistent and they do it night in and night out, day in and day out and that’s something I know I have to do to continue to stick around in the league.
“You’ve got to be the same guy every day. Regardless of circumstance, what’s happening with o-line, quarterback … Get open and catch the ball. That’s my job.”
I don’t know if Carter is going to survive final cuts, but I don’t know what else he could have done.
While guys like Markus Wheaton, Mack Hollins and Kamar Aiken have been banged up and done little this preseason, Carter came in late and has made plays all over the place.
He’s earned this.