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Cris Carter, Begging For Attention, Doesn't Know NFL's Elite Wide Receivers

When Cris Carter was on 'Mike and Mike' in August and listed his group of elite NFL wide receivers, he was terribly remiss in failing to mention Calvin Johnson. A few days later, he backtracked and said that Johnson belonged in the top five, and that was that. 

That was until Carter decided to change his mind again on 'Mike and Mike' this morning, claiming Calvin Johnson is, in fact, not an elite wide receiver [via Detroit Free Press]:

"I believe there’s really four elite wide receivers," Carter said on the Mike and Mike show. "That would be Greg Jennings, Roddy White, Larry Fitzgerald and Andre Johnson. Those guys separated themselves over the course of the last several years from the other receivers.

"Now, Calvin Johnson is playing the best football of his career. He’s getting single coverage now, he’s beating single coverage. He had double coverage in the red zone; him and (quarterback Matthew) Stafford have great chemistry together. He is playing at a top-five level, but before this season, he wasn’t better than those other four guys."

So, let's get this straight. Carter's original elite six consisted of Andre Johnson, Larry Fitzgerald, Greg Jennings, Roddy White, DeSean Jackson, and Reggie Wayne. After being taken to task for excluding Calvin Johnson, Carter said he "may have given Reggie Wayne a gift," which would lead one to believe that Johnson -- not Wayne -- was his No. 6 elite wide receiver.

A month and six Calvin Johnson touchdowns in three games later, Carter has inexplicably reduced his elite wide receiver list to four names -- Andre Johnson, Larry Fitzgerald, Greg Jennings, and Roddy White -- and it again does not include CJ.

Yeah, it seems Cris Carter is just really confused and isn't really sure what an elite wide receiver looks like. I mean, look at the production of the receivers Carter pegged ahead of Calvin Johnson during their first four years compared to Calvin's [via commenter John Williams]: 

(sorted by touchdowns)
Age    G       Rec       Yds    Yds/G      TD
27      60      330      4,544       76        34        Larry Fitzgerald
25      60      270      4,191       70        33        Calvin Johnson
27      59      246      3,957       67        28        Greg Jennings
32      61      221      3,109       50        23        Reggie Wayne
24      45      171      3,124       70        17        Desean Jackson
30      61      311      3,953       64        17        Andre Johnson
29      64      230      3,536       55        16        Roddy White 

Stats suggest CJ is at worst a top three wide receiver and he had, by far, the worst quarterback efficiency throwing to him his first four years, too. If you're wondering what he could've done with a quarterback like Rodgers, Manning, Schaub or Ryan, you saw it in the first three games of this season.

Would Cris Carter consider himself elite? Here are his stats for his first four seasons in the NFL:

G         Rec        Yds        Avg      Yds/G     TD
57        116       1,863        16          30        22  

Those numbers wouldn't put him in Barkley's five, let alone an elite wide receiver list compared to the names above.

So what could change Carter's mind about Johnson? Stafford wonders, too:

Does anyone think 8 tds in 4 weeks will change chris carters mind about an "elite" receiver? #megatron
Sep 27 via Twitter for iPhoneFavoriteRetweetReply

Incidentally, that just might, if Cris Carter thinks of himself as an elite receiver, which he likely does [via Pro Football Talk]:

Carter himself owns the all-time NFL record for consecutive two-touchdown games, with four in a row in 1995. If Johnson ties that record on Sunday, one would think Carter would reconsider his opinion that Johnson is only great in video games, not real football.

Or, as PFT also pointed out, maybe Megatron will need nine or 10 touchdowns in four weeks.