Vikings coach Brad Childress ended the organization's silence on the speculation that they were considering trading quarterback Daunte Culpepper, but he didn't give any definitive answers.
"My whole focus is that before we do anything else we've got to get him back to health. I spoke to Daunte on Wednesday and it's important that we get him up to speed football-wise. … You listen to everything that's going on and find out what's subterfuge and kind of go from there," Childress said.
Yesterday in a statement to media, Culpepper wrote that he was assured by Vikings owner Zygi Wilf that the team hasn't been shopping him.
However, when asked if the Vikings have contacted other teams regarding a trade of Culpepper or if other teams had contacted them, Childress said: "Probably more of the latter. Zygi (Wilf) has made his own statement on that. I just think Daunte is a good football player."
When asked if the team would give Culpepper the $6 million bonus due in March, Childress would only say that he is due the bonus. Childress said Culpepper's gesture to move the date of his bonus was a good gesture but wasn't sure it would be something that was good for the team.
Is there a chance the Vikings would release Culpepper, as the Miami Herald speculated Friday?
"You don ‘t ever say never at this time of year. Never and always are two long periods of time," Childress said.
Childress said he's been told Culpepper's recovery time is nine to 12 months and if Culpepper healed quickly he might be able to start working out fully in training camp. But, "you don't want to push him into anything," Childress said. "You want to make sure that's stabile. That's a big guy and you want that knee to be solid. He plays it wide open and he's going to need all his faculties to play it wide open.
"I'd like to see him get up here and immerse himself offensively into this thing. There is a volume and there is a lot of language that goes on with it, and obviously the best place to be would probably be in Minneapolis.
"All my energy is about getting him back to that level of play that he established in 2004. I just want to get him back to that standard."
While Childress wouldn't completely confirm or deny the trade speculation, he did acknowledge that it's the time of year when this sort of talk surfaces.
"Everything is swirling this time of year," he said.
Childress Addresses Culpepper Situation
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