The Daunte Decision

Daunte Culpepper claimed victory on Tuesday after the Dolphins finally granted him his wish to be released, but that may be subject to debate. What doesn't appear to be is that the Dolphins didn't exactly come out looking good at the conclusion of the Culpepper saga.

The move to terminate Culpepper's contract was made a day before the quarterback's grievance against the Dolphins was to be heard in Miami. Obviously, there has to be some coincidence there.

It's not like the Dolphins suddenly determined after all this time that they just weren't going to get any other team to give them a draft pick for Culpepper.

Based on an earlier conversation with Dolphins player representative Jay Feely, the team was within its rights to not give Culpepper repetitions in practice during minicamp, so it's like it was a slam dunk the Dolphins would lose the grievance.

"As I was going through this process I heard about a quote by Gandhi that best expresses my thoughts about this victory: 'First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win,' " Culpepper, who serves as his own agent, said in an e-mail. "Now that I have won my freedom and I get to choose my next team, I am just like many other people who have to go out and find employment so that I can take care of my family."

The big question, of course, is why didn't the Dolphins just do this after they acquired Trent Green? They already had told Culpepper he wasn't in their plans anymore, and the odds of getting anything for him in the form of a draft pick were slim at best.

What the Dolphins did by hanging on to him was create bad public relations for themselves and give themselves some aggravation they didn't need.

In the end, it looks like the Dolphins were worried about what might transpire at the hearing, which was scheduled to take place at the team's training facility but now has been canceled.

The end result was that Culpepper got what he wanted, albeit much later than he would have wanted to, and the Dolphins got nothing but bad pub.

This is a case where there clearly was no winner.

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