July 21, 2014

Rookie of the Year: Dale Carter, 1992

Cornerback, Kansas City Chiefs

Age: 23 (Nov. 28)
College: Tennessee
Height: 6’1”   Weight: 181

Carter was a consensus All-American in 1991, excelling as both a defensive back and kick returner. He was chosen by the Chiefs in the first round of the ’92 NFL draft (20th overall) and moved into the starting lineup for nine games.

1992 Season Summary
Appeared in all 16 games
[Bracketed numbers indicate league rank in Top 20]

Interceptions – 7 [3, tied with Mark Kelso, Eugene Robinson & Donnell Woolford]
Most interceptions, game – 1 on seven occasions
Int. return yards – 65
Most int. return yards, game – 36 (on 1 int.) vs. Denver 12/27
Int. TDs – 1 [6, tied with many others]
Fumble recoveries – 2

Kickoff Returns
Returns – 11
Yards – 190
Most yards, game – 70 (on 3 ret.) vs. Philadelphia 10/11
Average per return – 17.3
TDs – 0
Longest return – 39 yards

Punt Returns
Returns – 38 [4]
Yards – 398 [4]
Most yards, game – 100 (on 4 ret.) at Seattle 11/22
Average per return – 10.5 [8]
TDs – 2 [1, tied with Todd Kinchen, Kelvin Martin & Clarence Verdin]
Longest return – 86 yards

TDs – 3
Points – 18

Postseason: 1 G (AFC Wild Card playoff at San Diego)
Interceptions – 0
Fumble recoveries – 0

Kickoff returns – 1
Kickoff return yds. – 5
Kickoff return TDs – 0

Punt returns – 1
Punt return yds. – 1
Punt return TDs – 0

Awards & Honors:
NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year: AP, PFWA
AFC Rookie of the Year: UPI

Chiefs went 10-6 to finish second in the AFC West and qualify for the playoffs as a Wild Card while leading the conference in fewest passing yards allowed (2537). Lost AFC Wild Card playoff to San Diego Chargers (17-0).

Carter followed up with an inconsistent 1993 season in which his great playmaking ability was intermingled with often bad decisions, and there were issues off the field as well. However, his coverage skills improved and he was named to the Pro Bowl in each of the next four years, reaching his peak while playing in combination with James Hasty on the other side. He was also occasionally used as a wide receiver on offense, catching six passes in 1996, one of which was good for a 46-yard TD. A forearm injury hampered Carter in 1998, limiting him to 11 games, and he signed a large free agent contract to join the Denver Broncos in ’99, where he underachieved. He was suspended for 18 months, starting with the 2000 season, due to substance abuse and resurfaced with Minnesota in 2001, where he was united with his brother, WR Jake Reed. Moving on to New Orleans in ’02, suspensions continued to be an issue and he played a total of 15 games over the course of two years with the Saints. He spent the 2004 season on injured reserve before finishing his career with the Baltimore Ravens in ’05. Overall, Carter intercepted 24 passes, averaged 9.5 yards on 83 punt returns, and was selected to the Pro Bowl four times, but off-field problems ultimately derailed his career.


Rookie of the Year Profiles feature players who were named Rookie of the Year in the NFL (including NFC/AFC), AFL (1960-69), or USFL (1983-85) by a recognized organization (Associated Press – Offense or Defense, Newspaper Enterprise Association, United Press International, The Sporting News, or the league itself – Pepsi NFL Rookie of the Year).