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Dexter Carter: 49ers traded Charles Haley because he ‘messed with the wrong guy’

Nov 17, 2017 at 12:31 PM


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Most assume that Hall of Fame pass-rusher Charles Haley's clashes with head coach George Seifert resulted in the San Francisco 49ers trading him to the Dallas Cowboys in 1992 for a second-round draft pick the next year and a third-round pick in 1994. While that may seem like a nice little haul in exchange for one player, you have to remember how dominant Haley was.

In 12 NFL seasons, Haley registered 100.5 sacks, two interceptions, 26 forced fumbles, and a touchdown. He was selected to five Pro Bowls and was a two-time First-team All-Pro. Haley has been part of five Super Bowl-winning teams. Two of those were with San Francisco while three were with Dallas.

While differences with Seifert may have been a factor in the 49ers' willingness to offload Haley, former 49ers running back and kick returner Dexter Carter joined the "No Huddle" podcast this week and shared a different story. Carter says the 49ers were willing to practically give Haley away after the pass-rusher crossed the wrong legendary player.

"Charles Haley didn't care who you were," Carter shared with hosts Al Sacco and Zain Naqvi. "He didn't care if you were a rookie. He didn't care if you were Joe Montana. He would get it to you verbally. If he wasn't picking on you, you were happy he didn't, and you would think it was funny. I saw him get on Joe Montana. Joe was very good at ignoring him, though.

"But there was one guy that nobody messed with. Charles didn't even mess with him. And when he messed with him, two weeks later, he was gone. And when I say 'gone,' he was given away to Dallas. Our best defensive player and he was given away to Dallas, who at the end of the day, helped take three rings off of my fingers. I could have had three more Super Bowl rings.

"Charles Haley was like that when he was 15 years old. Now, all these years later, we find out why he was that way. Because he would come to work some days and he literally – it looked like he didn't get any sleep, he wouldn't say a thing to you, to nobody.

"And come to find out he was taking Ritalin because back then, they had diagnosed him with hyperactivity. But now, 25-plus years later, that diagnosis, which they didn't know back then, was bipolar. And now they've got it under control.

"I see him every year at the DeBartolo Family Foundation event in Tampa. He's still the laughable Charles Haley, having a good time, but I am so happy for him that they've got that under control because it was bad. It was bad. But the day that he went at Jerry Rice, and Jerry went back at him, what transpired in that locker room that morning, led to two weeks later, the 49ers literally giving Charles away to their toughest competitor.

"So that kind of tells you, 'Oh my God, what did he do?' There's a little bit more to that story that I can't share on the air, but nonetheless, it's a true story.

"Anybody who may hear what I said, it's not anything bad about the 49ers organization. It's not anything bad about Charles. It's just saying that we gave, literally, the best NFL defensive player away to our toughest competitor because he messed with the wrong guy.

"I'm sure Jerry and Charles are ok today, but back then, you couldn't mess with Jerry."

Also included during the podcast interview is the unbelievable story of another former 49er defensive player who attacked Carter over a sandwich. Yes, a sandwich.

You can listen to the entire candid interview with Carter below.

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