Cris Carter told NFL rookies to get 'fall guy' for when they get in legal trouble

Cris Carter told NFL rookies to get 'fall guy' for when they get in legal trouble

One part of the Chris Borland story by ESPN The Magazine that didn't fit with the rest of the tale but was still pretty surprising was Borland's "fall guy" story.

According to the recently retired San Francisco 49er, someone at his NFL rookie symposium encouraged him and the other rookies to get a "fall guy," basically someone to take the heat if they got in trouble with the law. Not that Borland would lie, but it seemed unbelievable that someone would actually tell NFL rookies to do that at the symposium.

Oh, someone did tell them to do just that. While wearing his Pro Football Hall of Fame jacket: Former NFL receiver Cris Carter.

[Yahoo Sports Fantasy Football: Sign up and join a league todayl] did a great job to find the video from the symposium, which was displayed on the NFL's website. The video was titled "Rookies learn life lessons from Sapp and Carter." The NFL took it down on Sunday afternoon but there were versions on the Internet, including some on YouTube.

We know it was from Borland's rookie symposium because Minnesota Vikings quarterback Teddy Bridgewater, another 2014 draftee, was brought up on stage. And with Bridgewater uncomfortably standing next to him, Carter told the group to get a "fall guy," as Warren Sapp laughed and agreed.

"In case y'all not going to decide to do the right thing, if y'all got a crew, you've got to have a fall guy in the crew," Carter said, as shown on the video.

Carter brings Bridgewater to the stage, and he says that Bridgewater is his own corporation, and needs to be protected from any trouble.

"I let my homeboys know, y'all want to keep rolling like this, then I need to know who gonna be the fall guy, who's going to be driving," Carter said. "Y'all not going to all do the right stuff now. So I've got to teach you how to get around all this stuff, too. If you're going to have a crew, one of them fools got to know he going to jail. We'll get him out."

Sapp repeated "We'll get him out," and chuckled.

"I know none of y'all going to never drink late, I know none of y'all going to never use no drugs or anything, all of y'all going to go to bible study," Carter said in a sarcastic tone. "I realize that - but still get you a fall guy. If you're going to have a crew, make sure they understand, can't nothing happen to you. Your name can't be in lights, under no circumstances. You all understand that?"

The NFL released a statement about the remarks on Sunday evening:

"This was an unfortunate and inappropriate comment made by Cris Carter during the 2014 NFC rookie symposium. The comment was not representative of the message of the symposium or any other league program. The league's player engagement staff immediately expressed concern about the comment to Cris. The comment was no repeated in the 2014 AFC session or this year's symposium."

Carter apologized on Twitter after the story caught fire.

The ESPN story said Borland, who refused to name Carter, was appalled when he heard Carter's words initially.

"I was just sitting there thinking, 'Should I walk out? What am I supposed to do?' " Borland told ESPN The Magazine.

This wasn't just a veteran slyly telling a young player about a trick of the trade. This was a Hall of Fame player at an NFL sanctioned event telling a group of rookies to have a friend who would go to jail for them if they got in trouble, and "we'll get him out." And the NFL had the video on its site. Wow.

Former NFL defensive end Osi Umenyiora summed it up:

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Frank Schwab is the editor of Shutdown Corner on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter!