Culpepper Trade: On Hold or Progressing?

The Vikings were thought to be on the fast track to trading away quarterback Daunte Culpepper at the outset of free agency, but about 60 hours into free agency there still isn't a deal. What's the latest? A few sources help sort out where things stand now.

Vikings one-time franchise quarterback Daunte Culpepper is still on the trading block, but there appears to be two stumbling blocks that must be cleared before a trade can be reached.

Still, things look like they are progressing.

First, the primary suitor for Culpepper is Miami, and the Dolphins were meeting with quarterback Drew Brees on Sunday, who is reportedly seeking a contract that would give him $10 million per year. Brees visited with the New Orleans Saints on Saturday, and they are the closest to meeting his contract wishes, according to ESPN's John Clayton, offering more in guarantees than Miami.

That is important because it is thought that if the Dolphins don't land Brees on Monday—they were dining with him Sunday night—they might be more willing to succumb to the Vikings' compensation request in return for Culpepper. The Vikings are thought to be seeking a second-round pick in the 2007 NFL draft for Culpepper that might be upgradeable to a first-round selection if Culpepper were to meet certain standards of play in 2006.

According to Clayton, the Vikings aren't allowing Culpepper to undergo a doctor's examination with the Dolphins, instead just allowing Culpepper to speak with the Dolphins on the phone.

Vikings coach Brad Childress said the team got a good report from trainer Eric Sugarman when he met with Culpepper before the NFL Combine in February.

According to the Associated Press, Brees said New Orleans' rebuilding from Hurricane Katrina would not dissuade him from signing with the Saints, saying he has built up struggling teams at Purdue and San Diego.

The Vikings appear willing to wait out the process, at least for this week, but a deal could down as soon as today if Brees leaves Miami without a contract and opts for New Orleans' significant offer.

Although a source told at the combine that the Vikings would have an interest in Brees if they were able to trade Culpepper, they appear to be waiting on Brees signing with another team before they are able to trade Culpepper.

At one time, Oakland, New Orleans, Baltimore and St. Louis were all considered candidates to obtain Culpepper.

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