New Viking’s Father Had to Toss Bears Gear

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Dec 10, 2022; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Army Black Knights outside linebacker Andre Carter II (34) reacts after a play against the Navy Midshipmen during the first half of the 123rd Army-Navy game at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Danny Wild-USA Today Sports.

Immediately after the 2023 NFL Draft, general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah rushed to the undrafted free agent market and stole the show with two popular acquisitions.

The Minnesota Vikings signed linebacker Ivan Pace Jr. and EDGE rusher Andre Carter II as UDFAs, and both men have a viable chance to make the 53-man roster at the end of August.

New Viking’s Father Had to Toss Bears Gear

Along the way, one of the newcomer’s fathers had to toss his Chicago Bears fandom.

Father Had
Image Courtesy of From left to right: André Carter, André Carter II & Melissa Carter. The Vikings discovered Andre Carter II via undrafted free agency in 2023, and the Army alumnus will vie for a roster spot at training camp and in the preseason.

That’s Andre Carter, the father of new Vikings outside linebacker Andre Carter II, and he was evidently a Bears fan before April 29th when his son joined the Vikings. In a recent interview with Heavy, Carter II explained his dad’s Bears ardor and how he particularly cheered for linebackers like Brian Urlacher and Khalil Mack in the last two decades.

But out with the old, and in with the new, as his son embarks on a career in purple and gold.

Nov 12, 2022; Troy, Alabama, USA; Army Black Knights outside linebacker Andre Carter II (34) during the second half against the Troy Trojans at Veterans Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Danny Wild-USA TODAY Sports.

Asked if father-Carter was miffed about abruptly switching fandoms — to one of the utmost rivals, no less — son Carter opined, “Oh, he doesn’t care at all.”

Carter II posted noteworthy numbers at Army and was foreseen as a mid-round pick during much of the lead-up to the 2023 NFL Draft. But the event came and went, and nary a team called his name from April 27th to 29th.

Nov 19, 2022; West Point, New York, USA; Army Black Knights defensive lineman Kwabena Bonsu (97) and outside linebacker Andre Carter II (34) celebrate on the sidelines in the final seconds of a win against the Connecticut Huskies at Michie Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Danny Wild-USA TODAY Sports.

In the Heavy interview, son-Carter playfully clarified his dad’s loyalty shift to Minnesota, “Once I was going to the Vikings, everybody threw all the stuff away. We’re done with Chicago.”

In the aftermath of April’s draft, NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero tweeted, “One of the biggest commitments ever to an undrafted free agent: The Vikings signed former Army edge Andre Carter II to a deal that includes a $40,000 signing bonus and $300K base salary guarantee. A sign they believe Carter can make the active roster.”

And that final sentence from Pelissero brings Carter II to the here and now, as the defender and his rookie teammates report to Eagan on Sunday for training camp. Veterans join two days later, on July 25th. Carter II will presumably battle D.J. Wonnum, Patrick Jones II, and a UDFA from last year, Luiji Vilain, at training camp and in the preseason for regular season snaps.

Sep 17, 2022; West Point, New York, USA; Army Black Knights outside linebacker Andre Carter II (34) tackles Villanova Wildcats running back DeeWil Barlee (28) during the second half at Michie Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Danny Wild-USA TODAY Sports.

The Black Knight also garnered attention on Bruce Feldman’s famous Freak List heading into the draft. Feldman wrote about Carter II, “What a gem Army found at Connecticut’s Cheshire Academy in Carter, at the time a two-star tight end prospect. Now a 6-7, 260-pound senior with a 6-10 wingspan, Carter piled up 18.5 TFLs, 15.5 sacks and four forced fumbles in 2021.”

So, circle October 15th for the big day — that’s when the Vikings travel to Chicago for a date with the Bears, and Andre Carter Sr. will apparently cheer against the Bears for the first time.

Dustin Baker is a political scientist who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2007. Subscribe to his daily YouTube Channel, VikesNow. He hosts a podcast with Bryant McKinnie, which airs every Wednesday with Raun Sawh and Sal Spice. His Vikings obsession dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ Basset Hounds, and The Doors (the band).

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