Cris Carter could be leaving Fox Sports’ FS1 sports cable network.
The Pro Football Hall of Famer turned co-host of FS1’s First Things First morning show has taken a leave of absence, sources told Front Office Sports.
That may be the temporary arrangement before Carter moves on from Fox, where he’s worked since December 2016.
On Thursday and Friday, Carter missed First Things First, the morning show he co-hosts with Nick Wright and Jenna Wolfe. Former New York Giants Super Bowl champion Chris Canty filled in for Carter.
One high-placed source told Front Office Sports that Carter is miffed at not being included in Fox’s Thursday Night Football pregame coverage this season.
Carter, Wright, and Wolfe shoot their weekday morning show at the site of Fox’s Thursday Night Football show in midtown Manhattan.
However, Fox has chosen to fly in Tony Gonzalez and other Los Angeles-based talents to appear at its New York-based pregame show.
Fox has also been rolling out the Thursday Night Football red carpet for new hire Rob Gronkowski, the recently retired star tight end for Tom Brady’s New England Patriots.
Ryan Glasspiegel of The Big Lead reported Sunday that Carter had been suspended by Fox pending the results of a Fox investigation.
Despite being listed as an “NFL analyst” on his network bio, Carter has been missing in action on Fox’s Thursday Night Football coverage, as well as on the network’s top-rated Fox NFL Sunday pregame show, with Terry Bradshaw, Jimmy Johnson, Michael Strahan, Howie Long and Curt Menefee.
Rumors have bubbling since Friday about an alleged blow-up between Carter and his bosses at FS1.
“I was told it was bad,” said one source.
After his Hall of Fame career on the field, the opinionated Carter has been a frequent presence on NFL TV.
He joined HBO Sports’ Inside the NFL in 2002, then moved to ESPN in 2008 where he appeared on the network’s Sunday NFL Countdown and Monday NFL Countdown shows.
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FS1 tapped Carter as the main star of First Things First with Wright and Wolfe in 2017.
Carter is no stranger to controversy. The former Minnesota Vikings star was taped urging NFL rookies to have a “fall guy” ready to take the blame if they encountered trouble with cops during a 2014 symposium. Carter later publicly apologized.
Carter could not be reached for comment. Fox declined to comment.
UPDATE: Carter did not appear on Monday morning’s episode of First Things First. Canty filled his chair again. His absence was not addressed by Wright or Wolfe.