Duron Carter’s deal with the Riders a steal for Saskatchewan

When the Saskatchewan Roughriders re-signed receiver Duran Carter, they didn’t just lock up one of the league’s most dynamic receivers and trash talkers: they also got themselves a bargain.

Carter’s contract numbers, as reported by 3DownNation’s Justin Dunk, have him earning $175,000 in 2018. That includes $144,000 in ‘hard money’ –a $70,000 signing bonus, $74,000 in base salary – and $31,000 in playtime bonuses.

When you compare those dollar figures to what some of his contemporaries are making, Carter looks like a steal.

The Edmonton Eskimo’s Adarius Bowman reportedly earned $260,000 last year and is scheduled to make $265,000 this year (though he has a bonus due in February and may be released or forced to renegotiate.)

Bowman has cracked the 1,000-yard plateau three times over his six seasons with Edmonton and had a club-record 120 catches for a league-high 1,759 yards and nine TDs in 2016 before he signed his lucrative extension.

But in the first year of that new deal, Bowman had 45 catches for 534 yards and five TDs over 12 regular-season games before adding five receptions for 96 yards and two touchdowns in two playoff contests.

Carter, meanwhile, has never had less than 900 yards in four CFL seasons and was tenth in the CFL with 1,043 yards last season.

He also brings potential value as a defensive back and a return man, having made contributions in those roles last season

Two other big-name guys who signed lucrative deals last off-season are also higher on the pay grid than Carter.

Ottawa’s Greg Ellingson signed a two-year deal worth a reported $210,000 to stay with the Redblacks while Ernest Jackson inked a two-year contract worth $220,000 annually to go from Ottawa to Montreal. Ellingson finished with 1,459 yards last season while Jackson struggled with the Alouettes, registering just 767 yards.

Still, the sweet spot for top-end receivers has typically been in the $200,000 to $225,000 range per season and Carter’s deal falls well short of that.

It would have been interesting to see what Carter would have received on the open market. Unlike last season when there were a number of quality free agent receivers poised to hit free agency, the market is set to be a lot thinner this time around.

Toronto’s S.J. Green is probably the biggest name but he’s made it clear he’ll try and stay in Toronto. Diontae Spencer had good all-purpose numbers in Ottawa while Luke Tasker is a dependable 1,000-yard guy who doesn’t have the game-breaking ability Carter has consistently shown. DaVaris Daniels and Vidal Hazelton have yet to show they can be bona-fide No. 1 receivers.

That said, it seems clear that Saskatchewan is the ideal place for Carter and he may have been willing to take a little less to stay there. Head coach Chris Jones has developed a rapport with a player who clearly requires a little extra attention and maintenance, acknowledging there have been and will be “bumps in the road.”

Not every team would have been willing to take on Carter, despite his obvious talents: it’s hard to see him in more controlled environments like Toronto and Calgary while teams like B.C. and Edmonton have already invested in their big-play guys.

Regardless, the Riders have now put themselves in an enviable position. Not only have they locked up Carter on a team-friendly deal but they were able to get quarterback Zach Collaros to agree to a restructured deal that will be a bargain if he returns to his MOP-calibre form of 2015. Also getting Brandon Bridge under contract means Saskatchewan has two quarterbacks who have proven they can win games.

The other thing about Carter: he’s one of the most interesting and dynamic personalities in the CFL right now, a perpetually entertaining on-field and social media trash talker.

But he likely threw that in for free.

Drew Edwards

Drew Edwards

Drew Edwards is into his eighth season covering the CFL and the Ticats for the Hamilton Spectator. He is the founder and editor of 3DownNation.
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Drew Edwards
About Drew Edwards (1457 Articles)
Drew Edwards is into his eighth season covering the CFL and the Ticats for the Hamilton Spectator. He is the founder and editor of 3DownNation.

19 Comments on Duron Carter’s deal with the Riders a steal for Saskatchewan

  1. Dyck Rubnutz // January 29, 2018 at 4:00 pm //

    Good article Drew and I agree, great deal for the Riders and Duron. Things looking up in Riderville.

  2. Nice article Drew. It’s easy to write about the prevailing narrative – Carter is arrogant, immature, trash-talker, potential “cancer” – so it’s refreshing to see a well-researched and thought-out piece that takes the opposing, less popular viewpoint. Well done.

  3. BigRedMachine // January 29, 2018 at 4:32 pm //

    Don’t think DC is motivated too much by money. Hard guy to figure out but outwardly he seems entertaining…

  4. Drew. Define “hard money”. The base isn’t guaranteed. He gets hurt and gets cut he does not collect. The only hard money is the part paid in advance.

  5. Making more than the chumps who report on him….so far LOL

  6. 10 bucks says Duron Carter pops a gasket before the end of the regular season.

    • I’ll take that bet. He has a good rapport with Chris Jones and he didn’t have any issues last year at all. He’s intense on the field, but off the field he’s not an issue at all.

      • Are you sure about that? Seems to me he was involved in a fist fight at practice. Beat up some poor soul on the defense. A team mate no less. Wanna make it $100.

        • fannotacoach // January 29, 2018 at 9:23 pm //

          And we’ll never know all the facts of what was reported about that scuffle other than the plane load of riders being shipped out etc. Give it a rest!

  7. solara2000 // January 29, 2018 at 8:29 pm //

    While there will be “bumps along the way”, mostly of DC’s making, he is a League asset (I am not a Riders fan). He gets headlines, he makes headlines. And and the root of it he is one exciting player. That every club had a DC.

  8. Dave Bailey // January 29, 2018 at 9:29 pm //

    Love him or hate him, he is bright, entertaining and, oh yes a very gifted athlete. The CFL needs more like Duran Carter

  9. Colour me green // January 29, 2018 at 9:56 pm //

    Let’s not turn into the No Fun League.
    He is good for the league, entertaining. Of course if he screws up, he will be gone quickly.

  10. Provemewrong // January 29, 2018 at 11:00 pm //

    Carter lives in the shadow of his father and his failed NFL dreams. Given his personality, it will be a matter of time until he implodes, again, and takes those around him down as well.

    • 3rd and 1 // January 30, 2018 at 8:01 am //

      Completely disagree. Duron has shown his ability to mature since signing in SK. Each year Duron’s a little older and a little wiser. Plus HC Chris Jones has helped Duron settle in very nicely.
      What many are missing here. Especially the Media is that for the 1st time in Duron’s Proffessional career he has found a place that really enjoy him and support him for who he is. The Saskatchewan Roughriders have made Duron feel as comfortable as a player can feel being a very long way away from home.
      I would suggest that for the 1st time in maybe ever. Duron feels welcomed, supported, understood and most importantly Duron Carter feels well liked. To the point where fans use the “L” word! Many SK fans say I love that guy. Or man do I ever love his play. I love his game. In football lingo Duron Carter has been accepted at the highest level possible for a home town player.
      I for one “LOVE” to watch Duron play. I will never forget his pick 6 against Bo Levi Mitchell after Mitchell’s earlier tweet trash talking.

  11. Margaret Marshall // January 30, 2018 at 11:36 am //

    Duron Carter will be a play maker and star that will be appreciated and ‘loved ‘ by the fans. He has found a home away from home in Saskatchewan. People flower when their talents are appreciated and nurtured. Positive reinforcement works well for all of us. It is never just about money. Go for it duron

  12. I echo ProvemeWrong’s comments as well as Margaret Marshall’s viewpoint.

    Carter’s great for the CFL. I’m not a Riders fan – live in BC but I didn’t miss a Riders game on TSN and went to BC Place when Riders were in town as I think he’s one of the most exciting players in a long time.

  13. Carter could be a steal if he concentrates on football. To be fair though the “Mouth from the South” has been pretty good at trash talking his opponents as well as teammates.

  14. I far prefer and admire the strong quiet players that act like they have been there before after a good play. The ones that don’t constantly demand attention and aren’t always in danger of taking foolish penalties. The ones that aren’t viewed as a ticking time bomb. Will everyone still defend him after he implodes? Will he still be a good deal for the Riders?

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