Green Speaks To Pepp Saga

Denny Green had a chance to get Daunte Culpepper in free agency. He didn't. There is a chance that he will be involved in a draft day trade with the Vikings if one of the top quarterbacks in the draft drops to him at No. 10. Whether that happens or not, Green has weighed in on the Culpepper saga -- siding with the guy he chose in the 1999 draft.

Dolphins fans are likely feeling the same way that Raiders fans did when they got Randy Moss a year ago. They had seen Jerry Rice, so getting his heir apparent was a dream come true. Dolphins fans have longed for the days of Dan Marino and have been disappointed by the cavalcade of slugs that have followed him.

So it should have come as no surprise that the local media reaction to the trade for Culpepper has been unabashedly homerish. But support of the trade has come from an unexpected source -- former Vikings coach Dennis Green.

In a story that effectively played Brad Childress to be the village idiot that never cared to keep Culpepper, the case against the Vikings was bolstered by a quote from Green, who claimed Culpepper is still one of the best quarterbacks in the game and that the Dolphins got him at a discount.

"He's been given a lot of God-given talent," Green said. "But he's really motivated. He likes to be the best. It's how he sees himself. and he's got an unusual body. He's strong as hell. He's one of the strongest guys in the league."

Those words would carry more weight if Green backed them up by making overtures to acquire Culpepper -- instead of re-signing Kurt Warner and still keeping an eye open to use the 10th overall pick to take a QB if one or more slips to that draft slot.

* The Vikings jumped past a first hurdle this week when a legislative bill for a new stadium and its funding moved forward. But, realistically speaking, there is still a long way to go since 2006 is an election year.
* A press conference is scheduled for today for Packers QB Brett Favre to announce his intentions whether or not to play in 2006. While it would be nice to see if Vikings fans would applaud him in his final visit to the Metrodome, more Vikes fans would like to see the Aaron Rodgers era ushered in.
* The first day of minicamp saw the Vikings veterans not wearing pads. One player who was visibly happy to be on the field was center Matt Birk. He has had five surgeries in the past two years and said he's playing pain-free for the first time in a long time. That is encouraging news for all Vikings fans, especially Brad Johnson and Chester Taylor.
* On the topic of offensive linemen, Steve Hutchinson "acquired" No. 76. It was his number with the Seahawks and beyond. But it was the number Chris Liwienski wore. Not anymore. Liwienski was wearing No. 67 Friday. It came with a price. As with most Vikings signings, terms were not disclosed.
* The Vikings are looking seriously at the linebacker crop in this year's draft. Holdover LB Dontarrious Thomas and newcomer Ben Leber are being asked to familiarize themselves with all three linebacker positions.
* Leber missed out of some of Friday's drills with a foot injury.
* The Vikings currently have just six linebackers on the roster.
* The Vikes plan on having Texas QB Vince Young in for a visit early next week. If the team is serious about drafting Young, it will likely involve multiple picks this year and more than likely a first-round pick in 2007.

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