TJ Carter will not be an Arizona Cardinal this season, after all. The former Wildcat signed with the Cardinals back in April after initially going undrafted in the 2020 NFL Draft, but he was announced as one of the 10 players who have been released by the team Sunday afternoon.
The team posted the news on Twitter:
We have released the following 10 players:
QB Drew Anderson
DL T.J. Carter
OL Jackson Dennis
OL Drew Dickinson
LB Vontarrius Dora
TE Parker Houston
WR Shane Leatherbury
WR Devin Phelps
CB Jarren Williams
CB Bejour Wilson
— Arizona Cardinals (@AZCardinals) July 26, 2020
Carter also reacted to the news on Twitter:
I ain’t even get to strap up ?????but whatever opportunity presents itself best believe I’ll be ready!! https://t.co/CnAQ0WraFU
— Tj Carter (@TjCarter_) July 27, 2020
Carter came to Kentucky as a two-star recruit out of Georgia, but he bought into Mark Stoops’ “Recruit and Develop” mantra and began working his way up the depth chart. His success wasn’t achieved in a straight line, but by the end of his four years in the Bluegrass, Carter tallied 50 career games (28 starts), 71 tackles, 12 tackles for loss, six sacks, five pass breakups and 10 quarterback hurries.
He never lost hope.
“Some guys, they let it go. That little spark, you either sense the spark and you respond to it, or there’s that little sense of urgency and it’s too hard. They wilt away. Just like Josh [Allen] last year, he responded to that and said, ‘You know what, this is my chance and this is my last chance,’” defensive coordinator Brad White said of Carter at the start of last season. “He’s been really solid, he’s been really consistent and he needs to be a big performer for us this year.”
Carter’s senior campaign became his best in the blue and white, as he accumulated 26 tackles, six tackles for loss, four quarterback hurries and two sacks – all career-high marks. He earned the BBN’s full support after a bogus targeting call removed him from the Florida game late in the fourth quarter, and he finished his time in the Kentucky uniform with a career-high five tackles in the Cats’ Belk Bowl win.
He rose to the occasion once. Now, he’ll just have to do it again. Best of luck to Carter with his next step.