Forgotten Player of the Moment – QUINCY CARTER
(by PHIL RIPPA)
I had an epiphany (I was going to say a little epiphany but I realized that due to the nature of the word there really isn’t any half-assing it. We are in Do or Do Not territory). I have been hacking away at this site for, on and off, over 10 years. This means that I have a decade more of guys who I could focus on when trying to generate content. BRING ON FAILED DRAFT PROSPECTS OF THE MID-AUGHTS!!!
I tell you this as context for how I came to decide to write about one Quincy Carter. Trying to find someone that I can do fitting this new “era” (partly so I could write the above paragraph and have it serve as padding for whoever I picked) I was reading old Veteran Presence material in the hopes of giving me that spark of creativity. Turns out that spark came from the 2004 American League East preview which was the very first thing written for the site.
ED: I assume the real reason Phil didn’t start the Yankees preview is that he didn’t want to jinx his team, so I will. That is start the preview, not jinx the team. Though, who can say?
PR: The real reason is that it is really difficult to focus all my thoughts into a manageable 19,000 word minimum without going off on a tangent about how much the trading of Nick Johnson enraged me.
ED: How many words will the loss of Drew Henson get?
PR: The Cowboys are compiling a nice little AAA team. What with Chad Hutchinson, Quincy Carter and now Henson. I guess you have to have played baseball to be a QB in Dallas now.
Now I SHOULD have written about Drew Henson (and maybe still will) but what really happened was I saw Quincy Carter’s name, laughed and the saw that he had been out of the league 10 YEARS! How did that happen? And by that I mean the passage of time not that Carter was a terrible football player (and baseball player for that matter).
Carter was a two sport star coming out of high school. On some levels that feat doesn’t seem that impressive since I grew up in a time when EVERYONE was a two sport star (heck – by only a loose interpretation, I qualify as a two-sport star.) Still, Carter was good enough to get a scholarship to Georgia Tech in football. However, the Chicago Cubs drafted him in the 2nd round thus Carter decided to play minor league baseball. (For the record, some of the names drafted after Carter in the 1996 MLB Draft: Roy Oswalt, Aaron Harang, Kyle Loshe, Barry Zito and my beloved Nick Johnson.)
After totally bombing out in Single A, Carter decided to go back to football, boning Georgia Tech again by this time committing to the University of Georgia. A three year starter who of course was a DUAL THREAT~! Carter had two decent seasons before having a crappy third season (due somewhat to injuries and somewhat to just not being very good). So of course, he declared for the NFL draft after said crappy third season.
This is also probably a good time for me to mention that Quincy Carter loved drugs. And alcohol. So much so that he would be entering the NFL in the substance abuse program. Because of this none of you should be shocked that the Dallas Cowboys drafted him (after having no first round pick thanks to the hideous Joey Galloway trade) in the 2nd Round of the 2001 NFL Draft. Mind you – everyone had Carter projected in the middle rounds but clearly don’t question Jerry Jones. MICHAEL VICK WENT NUMBER 1! CLEARLY THEY ARE THE SAME! DUAL THREAT! (Let me again mention how hideous the Joey Galloway trade was. The Cowboys thought Galloway was worth TWO first round picks. I am sure there is an alternate reality where this is true. This is not one of those realities. Not having a first round pick is really a problem when Troy Aikman retires and you are desperate for a QB and the draft is a two QB draft. Oh and Galloway tore his ACL in his first game as a Cowboy.)
Carter gets named the starter and the fun begins. In his very first game – Carter throws for 34 yards… whoops… I must have dropped a number. Nope – 34 yards and 2 interceptions. Oh and gets hurt. He returns in Game 4… and gets hurt again. Fortunately for Quincy, the Cowboys other QBs are Anthony Wright , Clint Stoerner and Ryan Leaf (yes, Ryan Leaf.) God – I am depressed just typing that list and I hate Dallas. Because of this – Carter is yet again the starter when he returns and is able to make it through the rest of the season upright. He was… quite the warm body. His one good game being against a Niners team that clearly took their foot off the gas way too early in their season.
His sophomore season is an improvement – not a tough feat I admit. Carter seems to be getting the hang of the whole starting QB thing and Dallas is hovering around .500 and then BAM! Carter gets in a screaming match with Jerry Jones and he is no longer the starter. (This is where Chad Hutchinson came into the picture.)
The next season, Carter gets back in the team’s good graces and new head coach Bill Parcells names him the starter and he manages to keep the job the entire year. Dallas starts off 7-2 and then holds on for dear life to finish 10-6 and make the playoffs. Carter threw for over 3000 yards and had almost 20 combined TDs (of course he also threw for more interceptions than TDs which was a constant in his career.)
The 2004 season is here. Carter is expected to be the starting QB. Still in camp – they have Carter, Hutchinson, Henson, Vinny Testaverde AND the then unknown Tony Romo. Still Carter’s got this right? Oh he was suddenly released! Oh…
Yup – Carter gets “shockingly” released during camp. It turns out that he test positive for cocaine and the Cowboys cut bait. (Google will bring you lots and lots of disappointed Parcells and Jones quotes. They shouldn’t make me giggle. I am a terrible person.) You will now be shocked – SHOCKED – to know that the New York Jets signed him. (The more things change…) Carter is Chad Pennington’s backup but does start a few games helping the Jets make the playoffs. WHOO-HOO!!! Quincy has made it. This is his time. Oh he was inactive for the playoff game? Oh he had a family emergency? That sucks. Oh it was a “family emergency” which actually meant another failed drug test? Yeah…
Carter went to rehab and was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. He then split time with the CFL (well if you count the Alouettes signing him and then releasing him in a month because he smoked A LOT of weed at the time.) and about every version of Arena Football that existed. Oh he also split time with jail – since he was arrested… a bunch. (DWI, marijuana, probation violation and battery.)
Again – for all intents and purposes – this all happened after we starting doing this site but long enough that I totally was like “Man – I forgot that the Als signed Quincy for a hit minute.” Poor little guy.