5:19pm: The Buccaneers and Commanders also put in Carter claims, NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport tweets. Both four-win teams reside behind the Cardinals in the waiver order, leading the young running back to the desert.
3:47pm: Michael Carter did not advance far down the waiver priority list. His name stopped at the Cardinals, who submitted a successful claim, according to ESPN.com’s Adam Schefter. The 2-8 team will move see what the third-year back can provide.
The Jets made the surprising decision to waive the backup running back Tuesday. The 2021 draftee is signed through 2024. This marks another reserve RB addition for the Cardinals, who have cycled through a few this season. Carter, 24, is due a nonguaranteed $1.1MM next year.
Both Damien Williams and Tony Jones Jr. emerged as backups during the Cardinals’ stretch without James Conner. The team moved on from both last week, with Conner back in the fold after a four-week IR stay. Despite Conner’s return to the 53-man roster, Arizona will still gauge Carter’s fit in Drew Petzing‘s offense.
One of two Michael Carters the Jets drafted in 2021, the North Carolina alum showed some promise as a rookie. In the Joe Douglas–Robert Saleh regime’s first offseason, the Jets chose Carter in Round 4. Carter proceeded to lead the Jets in rushing that season, totaling 639 yards (4.3 per carry) and four touchdowns. The former Javonte Williams Tar Heels teammate nearly reached 1,000 scrimmage yards as a rookie, contributing 325 through the air as well. Carter’s scrimmage-yards total that year paced the Jets by more than 300.
Carter enjoyed that notable rookie season despite missing three games, but with the Jets finishing 4-13, it did not generate too much acclaim. The Jets drafted Breece Hall in the 2022 second round, demoting Carter. The team also signed Dalvin Cook this offseason, bringing in the ex-Vikings Pro Bowler as Hall insurance. While Carter held off Bam Knight for a roster spot this year, the team is expected to give more playing time to rookie fifth-rounder Israel Abanikanda. Carter averaged just 3.5 yards per carry last season, filling in as one of the Jets’ solutions following Hall’s ACL tear.
The Cardinals have kept Keaontay Ingram and rookie UDFA Emari Demercado in place as Conner’s backups. Carter will join the roster as a fourth running back, potentially providing aid on passing downs. That said, Demercado has missed the past two games with a toe injury. Carter will supply more depth to a Cardinals team that could look to him as a multiyear contributor. This regime did not authorize Conner’s three-year, $21MM extension, calling the veteran’s 2024 status into question. For now, Carter profiles as a Conner backup in the again-Kyler Murray-led Cards attack.