When Pepp Met Zygi, Part II

Daunte Culpepper was back in town this week meeting with Zygi Wilf and Brad Childress. What were his motives? Zygi isn't saying.

This offseason has been one of turmoil for Daunte Culpepper. After sustaining a devastating knee injury, Culpepper was almost never seen on the sidelines of Vikings games or at Winter Park. He's been spending almost all of his time in Florida and, after making a grandstand request to personally meet with all of the team's ownership members last month, was disappointed when only capolologist Rob Brzezinski showed up -- and promptly said "no" to his request to re-work his contract.

In the process, some have come to question Culpepper's leadership skills. For outward appearances, he has given the impression that he's out merely for his own good -- firing his agent, not showing a willingness to rehab a very serious knee injury with the team's medical staff and declining to meet face to face with Childress on his previous visit to Winter Park. Did that change this week? As usual, the Vikings aren't talking.

Zygi Wilf was quoted in a Twin Cities newspaper column as saying of the potential rift between Culpepper and Childress, "I'm leaving this thing (up to) the coaches and the players. I'm not getting involved."

While that realistically may not be the best strategy, it's part of Wilf's Triangle of Authority that leaves the decisions of the day-to-day operation to be delegated. It is believed that Culpepper's visit was to gauge his role with the team. As expected, he was told he was the franchise QB and is hoped to be ready for the start of the 2006 season.

There is still the possibility that a trade could be in the offing for Culpepper, but with his value to the team and the likely lack of suitors willing to give up much in return, that remains a questionable proposition. In short, don't throw out those Culpepper jerseys. You'll likely need them in October when he's back quarterbacking the Vikings.

* From the Keep Your Mouth Shut Department, Mike Tice is at again. In a radio interview in Jacksonville, Tice said that he's already talked to at least one of the Vikings free agents about potentially relocating in Jacksonville. He followed it up by saying he didn't want to indentify the player because he "didn't want to break any more rules." However, if he was already heading back to the NFL at the time of the conversation, he may have already broken a tampering rule.
* Thusfar, there have been few if any Vikings sightings in Detroit for the Super Bowl.

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