Cris Carter tells rookies: "You better change"

Former NFL receiver Cris Carter spoke at the league’s rookie symposium this week and told the young players on hand that they need to conduct themselves like professionals if they want to last in the league — even if it costs them friendships along the way.

In a video of his remarks at, Carter can be seen discussing how NFL rookies should expect conversations with their friends to go.

“Your friends start saying, ‘Oh, man, I knew you were gonna change as soon as you got into the league,'” Carter said, before telling rookies, “Yeah, you better change.”

In comments that are especially important with the recent news that Mark Brunell is bankrupt despite making more than $50 million in his career, Carter told players to be smart about what they do with their paychecks.

“You better watch your money,” Carter said. “Because when you get old like me, you better know that you still got some money. You’re the one out there making it. You’re the one risking your neck.”

Carter also told rookies that they need to think about whether their family members really have their best interests at heart.

“You’re talking about people who can drag you down quick,” Carter said. “Make sure you keep them in check.”

56 responses to “Cris Carter tells rookies: "You better change"

  1. Its about time someone says somethign like this. Carter has been around the block….nice to hear it from him.

  2. Sounds like he wants them all to turn into Montgomery Burns.
    No friends. No family. Tons of money….Eeexcellent.

  3. truth of the matter is – 99% of us need that same talk on a regular basis, especially with the precarious nature of the country’s fiscal situation.

  4. Carter said, before telling rookies, “Yeah, you better change.”
    He followed that up by saying “And don’t shower with gays.”

  5. It means: don’t go out buying Escalades for your family members and friends with your first paychecks, dont go out buying giant chrome wheels for those Escalades, and don’t go making it rain.

  6. three things to remember in your life:
    number one
    never get less than 12 hrs of sleep at night
    never play pool against a guy named after a city
    number 3
    never date a girl with a tattoo of a dagger on her shoulder
    remember those 3 things and the rest of your life will be cream cheese

  7. “Make sure you keep them in check.”
    Does Cris Carter have to choke a bitch?

  8. Chris Carter… of the reason’s I don’t watch espn on Sunday mornings. Listening to that idiot makes my skin crawl.

  9. Yeah these kids (and most vets) need to learn how to spend their money. They’re out buying fancy cars and 10 houses. Then when they retire they’re flat broke. I just don’t get how someone who has made millions upon millions (in some cases in the NFL) can squander so much money. Get a reputable accountant. Put 70% of your money away. Be frugal. Don’t buy the 20 million dollar home. Buy a 2 million dollar home even. lol Seriously man. These guys have no idea how good they have it compared to the average joe. Give me ONE of their paychecks and I’ll make that thing last a lifetime. Be smart! Shit pay me half of a rookie base salary and I’ll be a damn tackling dummy. Hell I’ll wash your fu—– jock strap by hand. They just don’t get it.

  10. DID he mention anything about not pulling a Ben Crotchesbugular in some college town, in a bathroom with hired police security? Probably not. Because we all know that friends and family got him into that situation.
    Way to go Chirs Carter you just told a group of young guys to turn their back on their family and friends. And to blame said family and friends should the young athlete get into any trouble due to his own bad decisions. Good mentoring buddy. Now they”ll just drop their childhood friends and hang out with all the big time hustlers, players, and swindlers from around town.

  11. I have no problem with these guys going out and building their parents a house, a car etc. because I would do the same damn thing. The point is to budget a certain amount of that money to do stuff like that with so that you still have enough left to live on and then retire on should your career take an abrupt ending. Every single person on this website makes a mere percentage of what these guys get paid and I am going to assume that we all manage just fine. There is no reason that given much, much more of an income that they cannot do the same. Go buy yourself a nice car or 2, a house and buy your girl a big ass diamond, just be smart about it. For the love of God do not buy stupid chains with dumb figures danglin from them.

  12. MrONE50- Carter was simply saying watch out for those that will milk you dry. Don’t let friends come knocking every time they need money. Don’t let family come knocking every time they need money. If I won the lottery, I wouldn’t say a damn thing to anyone in my family except my grandfather who’d help me invest it properly. I’d be broke in 2 weeks otherwise. I’d have cousins come out that I hadn’t seen in years. Or those that wouldn’t piss on me if I was on fire before I won the lottery. I’d keep the same house. Maybe buy my wife a nice new car. Then have a college fund set up for my daughter and invest most of the rest of my money. Again, BE SMART! The rookies will know who they should or shouldn’t have around. Whether or not they go with that instinct is another story.

  13. digitalbath says: July 1, 2010 9:08 AM
    never play pool against a guy named after a city
    I wish I knew that before I played a few against Boston St. Louis.

  14. If you’re a family member that’s been pushing your kid his entire life to get into the NFL, you don’t have his best interest at heart. All he’s trying to tell these kids is that they’ll have relatives come out of the woodwork once they get those big checks, to they need to look out for themselves. If you have to ditch your thug friends from your childhood, do it. Jamal Lewis is a good case, after his childhood friend talked him into leveraging his future NFL paycheck for a cocaine score.
    My kid wants to play in the NFL, and he’s already a bruiser on defense. I told him to be a kicker to get to the NFL. When he asked me why, I showed him a picture of Earl Campbell in his wheelchair. I’d rather my kid live to watch his kids play football than make tons of money in the NFL.

  15. digitalbath says:
    “three things to remember in your life:
    number one
    never get less than 12 hrs of sleep at night”
    Clearly, you have no children. If you are really intent on following that rule, get a vasectomy.

  16. Did he mention how he was an alcoholic his first few years in the league? And basically forced a team to trade him to a city where there is nothing, just so he could control himself? How could anyone take him seriously? LT might as well given this speech.

  17. “Way to go Chirs Carter you just told a group of young guys to turn their back on their family and friends. ”
    Would have been good advice for Mike Vick, wouldn’t it? Considering his “friends and family” include some ex-felons.

  18. east96street. says:
    have 4 kids,the lines were from teenwolf,im not that original,but thanks for the credit

  19. I’d be much more impressed if they had heard from Roethlisberger, or one of the other sociopaths, about how to avoid being total scum in public. Carter is only trying to explain how to protect them against hurting themselves.
    The NFL should be more concerned with protecting the fanbase from some of the idiot players they seem to spawn.

  20. never play pool against a guy named after a city
    Your butchering a great line from “Teen Wolf”
    You don’t play cards against a guy named after a city..

  21. Give Cris Carter some credit. He was an alcoholic who just about wasted his career. He got his act together and turned into a Hall of Famer. He is just speaking the truth about rookies coming into alot of money, telling them to be smart about it. As far as friends & family go, we all know that if we got rich, we would have friends & family coming at us from every angle trying to get money from us. Reality is, most of these guys DO need a talking-to like this.

  22. BurningRiver…don’t be impressed if they heard from Roethlisberger. In all honesty, he has yet to prove he’s learned his lesson.
    I wonder if this is the first and last time rookies hear this. They should have continuous conversations with them throughout their first and second season.

  23. digitalbath – Teenwolf?? Didn’t that come out in the early 80s??? Either you have been watching some bad movies from the past recently or you have a phenomenal memory! What’s next? A few “Red Dawn” quotes?

  24. “Way to go Chirs Carter you just told a group of young guys to turn their back on their family and friends.”
    Obviously, you missed the point entirely. He’s telling them to turn their backs on the people who are wanting a little piece of his pie just because they met him once at a family reunion or played on his HS team.
    Ask anyone who has won the lottery about how family members you’ve never met come crawling out of the woodwork asking for money. I have hit 5 number twice for a total of about $6,000 and people who’s names I hadn’t heard since I was 3 years old got in touch with me to help them make their rent. I have used nothing but an unlisted cell phone ever since.

  25. db3300 says:
    July 1, 2010 10:33 AM
    Ask anyone who has won the lottery about how family members you’ve never met come crawling out of the woodwork asking for money. I have hit 5 number twice for a total of about $6,000 and people who’s names I hadn’t heard since I was 3 years old got in touch with me to help them make their rent. I have used nothing but an unlisted cell phone ever since.
    You won 6 grand and people came out of the woodwork asking you for money? Dude, where do you live? Afghanistan?

  26. Funny how the people we overpay to dance, sing, and jump high are often the least equipped to handle it well.
    I often think half of the entertainment value is watching some (most) of these people flame out.

  27. Not a Cris Carter fan, but I have to say after watching parts of the speech on NFL Network, it was phenomenal.
    Hopefully some of the rookies took it to heart.

  28. Hey, as much as I don’t really like Chris Carter, he’s right. Family and friends are often the problems with some of these players. But the fact is, the players don’t change, it’s the family and friends that do. Suddenly these guys are making a bunch of money, and the family and friends expect to benefit from it.
    It happens to lottery winners as well. They have nothing, and their family and friends don’t expect anything from them. But often times, after that person hits the lottery and gets a bunch of cash, certain family members and so called “friends” are standing on the front porch with their hands out.
    At that point, you have to determine who the real people are in your life that have your best interests at heart, and who just cares about the wealth. These idiot athletes and celebs that make a bunch of money, then divorce their wives and shack up with some bimbo are idiots. These idiot athletes with alcoholic parents who use them as agents or put them up in expensive houses are idiots.
    And yes, these kids need to find a trustworty financial planner (not some friend of the family) who will put them on a budget and not allow them to buy ten cars, three houses and a Scarab race boat before they’ve finished their first year in the league.

  29. I have a son that played basketball and ran track in high school. Basketball paid for his first 2 years of college. Young men, no matter how well they are raised tend to let money blind them when they have it thrown at them by the millions at such a young age. The AWE of making the pros and becoming a member of the elite in any sport is enough to challenge their decision making skills unless a parent or adult of trustworthy status stays on hands with their adjustment to that kind of adult atmosphere.
    I watched an interview on ESPN with Payton Manning and he said that despite he’s had an agent representing him his father stayed very involved his first few years in the league. Its nice to know the older players are willing to pass on knowledge of how to navigate through all the attention they get. However its up to the youngsters to listen, some I’m sure find that hard to do once they reach the big world!

  30. while cris carter may have some good advice about watching out for yourself he is still classless.
    don’t think so? just listen to the interview with darrius heyward-bey after the draft last year. laughing in the kids face on national tv while he was supposed to be giving an interview? correct me if i am wrong but did the kid have a choice when and where he was drafted? i thought all kids grew up wanting to be the #1 draft pick.
    stay classy cris

  31. Cris Carter is hilarious man, I remember last year he told all the rookies, “Rog will sit u Down”
    he’s great for this environment.
    Cmoney20, he wasnt traded. Buddy Ryan cut him to force him to get his life together. Despite having an addiction while he played for Philly Buddy said “he only caught td’s” for the reason for him being released.

  32. It’s funny reading some of these comments. One person said that people on here manage their money OK. I think by some of the other responses we can tell who gets it & who don’t.

  33. I liked the speech. Many of the guys in that room HAVE friends and/or family that will be their undoing. I’ll have lost interest in this after about an hour, but I’d bet after 2 years, at least three people in that room will have ruined themselves on behalf of their friends and family.
    Take care of your family, buy them food….buy them a chevy impala maybe if they don’t have a car. If they ask for more “keep them in check”.
    Take care of your best friends with a ticket or a jersey here and there, but if you have more than 2 best friends you probably should tell them the pro-shop isn’t directly affiliated with you and they charge you the same that they’d charge them. If they say, “but you are a millionaire”, you need to “keep them in check”.
    I think it’s smart that they do this type of orientation.

  34. ThePitts says:
    cash only – no checks
    Straight cash, homie?

  35. # -Slap- says: July 1, 2010 10:21 AM
    Who cares if some arrogant assholes wind up broke?
    That’s what Obama thinks about us,maybe Carter needs to talk to Obama

  36. I wonder if he touched on how his own son just pissed away a free education and a chance to play meaningful minutes on a top 10 college team? Who’s the next guest speaker Andy Reid?

  37. Maybe he should focus his energy on Duron’s inability to master the “scholar” portion of scholar athlete.

  38. They could have gotten someone more credible to speak about character and how to conduct yourself.

  39. Rich Eisen pointed out yesterday that Maurice Clarett slept through the Cris Carter talk.

  40. Every player currently in the league has heard the speech and received the warnings of what to watch out for. There will inevitably be some that think it doesn’t apply to them because they have always been catered to all the way up to this point. Now there are no more boosters to bail them out…some lessons just need to be learned first hand.

  41. Did anyone seriously expect Cris Carter to pass up the chance to be a self-righteous know-it-all in front of a captive audience?

  42. ODOT,
    Yea he said that because he’s Buddy Ryan and he would of never said to the media “hes an alcoholic who cant handle the night life here”. Buddy Ryan has also said “if I didnt cut Cris Carter, he would of never made it” meaning he couldnt control himself in Philly.
    Thanks for wasting your time to go out of your way and correct me on the trade comment though. He was cut. Because that was the point of my comment not, the fact he was an alcoholic telling rookies they need to change. Thanks buddy.

  43. I also wonder if he talked about how he was ineligible his senior year @ ohio state for secretly signing with Norby Walters. Atleast these guys could control themselves up until this point (well except Dez Bryant) . This guy was a moron just like all of them from 21-25 and this is the guy you have giving this speech. How can anyone take him seriously?

  44. Good advice, yet I wonder whether Cris Carter really is the best person to be giving advice to rookies, or anyone, really… Well hey, at least it’s not Michael Irvin.

  45. This is great advice coming from a guy who can’t even get his own kid to listen to him. His son Duron, had to leave Ohio State and go to a community college in Kansas b/c he can’t get his grades in check. Dude wasn’t even academically eligible for the January bowl game and still can’t get his grades up to par. Cris should spend more time working with his own kid on academics and leave the NFL-life mentoring to others.

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