Culpepper Deal Delayed

With the Vikings still a year away from getting major salary cap relief, Red McCombs isn't ready to give Daunte Culpepper his monster pay day just yet.

Daunte Culpepper is going to get a huge pay day when the Vikings extend his contract, but VU has been told it won't be this season.

Culpepper, who has two years remaining on the five-year deal he signed as a rookie, has been the subject of speculation that the Vikings would ensure that his contract is finalized in the offseason.

However, Red McCombs said Tuesday that Culpepper won't be a front-burner priority this offseason. Following the 2002 season, the Vikings will have considerably more (as much as $10 million) in additional salary cap room, which would make a contract extension more palatable for the owner.

That said, the Vikings and Culpepper will remain at the current contract standing and a new deal won't hit the front burner until this time next year.

* Although the full list won't be available until Friday, VU has been told there are a couple of surprises on the Vikings allocation list for the expansion draft of the Houston Texans Feb. 18. As reported yesterday by VU, Ed McDaniel and Orlando Thomas were certain to be on the list, but the other three players allocated were CB Robert Tate, OT Brad Badger and previously reported kick returner Troy Walters.
* VU's sources were checking in all night with other names on the list and some are huge. Leading the pack has to be Jacksonville OT Tony Bosselli, but the list includes many other Pro Bowl caliber players and high price tag veterans including G Randall McDaniel (Tampa Bay), C Mark Stepnoski (Dallas), LB Jamie Sharper and WR/KR Jermaine Lewis (Baltimore), RB James Stewart (Detroit), QB Rob Johnson (Buffalo), LB Bill Romanowski and DE Kavika Pittman (Denver), WR Derrick Alexander (Kansas City), OT Willie Roaf and QB Jeff Blake (New Orleans), CB Aaron Glenn (N.Y. Jets) and WR Rob Moore (Arizona).
* It should be noted that several lesser known names will likely be snapped up as the Texans hope to learn from the mistakes of the Browns, who passed on an unknown quarterback left unprotected by the Rams following the 1998 season. That QB? Kurt Warner.
* As reported earlier in VU, Tony Dungy officially signed a five-year, $11 million deal with the Indianapolis Colts, giving him a job before his former team in Tampa Bay can find themselves a new coach. Too bad, Tampa. Bad Tuna will leave you with a sour taste in your mouth. A press conference is scheduled to introduce Dungy today.
* The signing of Dungy likely takes offensive coordinator Tom Moore off the Vikings OC wish list. Also gone is Marc Trestman. The Vikings were denied permission from the Raiders to talk contract with Trestman Tuesday.

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