Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Culpepper dealt.

It’s official. Daunte Culpepper is now a former Vikings quarterback.

Two months of increasing acrimony came to an end Tuesday when the Vikings traded quarterback Daunte Culpepper to Miami, reportedly for a second-round draft pick.

The team confirmed that the trade has been agreed to in principle, but a team spokesman would not confirm the compensation. That reluctance indicates the price tag might be contingent on a physical that Culpepper is scheduled to take today in Miami.

This trade culminates what has been a stunning fall from grace. Culpepper was anointed the team leader this time last year when the Vikings jettisoned wide receiver Randy Moss to Oakland. In the eyes of the Vikings brain trust, Culpepper’s performance in 2004 in the five games without an injured Moss seemed to solidify Daunte’s stature. Hence, Moss was moved.

However, a horrible start to the 2005 season, a prominent role in the “Love Boat” scandal and a devastating knee injury put Culpepper’s Viking career on thin ice. Combine that with a whole new coaching staff looking to implement a new offense as well as Culpepper’s refusal to rehab his knee at the Vikings facility, you had what appeared to be irreparable morale damage.

When drafted number eleven overall in the 1999 draft, Culpepper was a “can’t miss” franchise quarterback, a “Steve McNair in a linebacker’s body.”

Seven years later, the Vikings are once again without a long-term solution at QB.

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