A year ago at this time, rumors were swirling that the Vikings were contemplating trading Randy Moss. With the business end of his contract coming due, the Vikings were rumored to be unwilling to do the heavy lifting on a player who had become a divisive influence in the locker room and viewed by some as having reached his peak in the "pay vs. performance" category.
It now looks like Daunte Culpepper might be in the same boat. Culpepper, who suffered a devastating knee injury in October, inexplicably sought to have as much as $10 million or more added to his current contract -- an idea that was shot down quickly. After trying a power play in which he fired his agent and tried to assemble all of the Vikings ownership group for a sit-down meeting, the Vikings declined -- sending only money man Rob Brzezinski, who promptly said "no" to the request.
A football website (profootballtalk.com) that claims to have been well ahead of the curve on the Moss trade claims to have sources that are saying the Vikings' asking price could be as little as a second-round pick for Culpepper -- who as recently as 2004 likely would have been NFL Most Valuable Player if not for a record-setting season by Peyton Manning.
Getting concrete information out of Winter Park has been nearly impossible to come by since the change in coaching staffs and there has been no official team response. Much of the early information coming out is from other teams, which are confirming that, at the minimum, Culpepper might be made available.
Culpepper is due a $6 million signing bonus in a month, which would come two weeks into the free agent period -- a time at which many of the aggressive spenders with money to burn will have already allocated much of their available spending money.
While VU hasn't confirmed the scope of the Vikings' plans and the validity to the story, this has to come as a shocker to Vikings fans. If the plan goes through, it's likely the Vikings would install Brad Johnson, one of the league's oldest players, as their starting QB for 2006.
As would be expected, this is a fluid story and VU will be following it up as details come forward.
* The Vikings signed fullback Joey Goodspeed, a three-year veteran who spent last season with the Rams -- another indication that the Vikings are going to mimic the West Coast Offense run by Brad Childress in Philadelphia.
* The Vikings ownership group is going to lay out a $1 billion plan before Blaine and Anoka County officials at a meeting tonight. In the plan, the Vikings will lay out their full proposal, which would include a retractable roof stadium and development around the stadium that would include shops, restaurants and housing developments.
* Former Packers coach Mike Sherman has signed on as assistant head coach of the Texans.
* VU has been told that if the Steelers don't make a pre-free agency run at wide receiver Antwaan Randle-El, the Bears are poised to offer him a big free agent deal to start opposite Muhsin Muhammad.
Pepp To Be Traded?
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