Former Vikings quarterback Daunte Culpepper is still unemployed after a quick and dramatic fall from grace in Minnesota and failed re-entry projects in Miami and Oakland.
When Daunte Culpepper was with the Vikings, the term "franchise quarterback" was tossed about and, following a couple of big seasons, he was viewed as a staple of the franchise for years to come.
But, as we stand about six weeks away from teams reporting to training camp, Culpepper remains unsigned. It is amazing that a player's stock can fall so fast so quickly, but Pepp remains on the outside looking in. Coming off a season in which more quarterbacks made NFL regular-season starts than any year previously, it seems hard to believe that at least one team wouldn't take a chance on an incentive-laden deal to bring in Culpepper.
Culpepper's fall from grace began in 2005, when he shredded his knee on a designed quarterback draw against the Carolina Panthers. When the team hired Brad Childress, Culpepper immediately balked at coming to Minnesota to do his rehab and was subsequently traded for a draft pick used to take offensive tackle Ryan Cook
. That started Culpepper's slide into infamy.
Culpepper went to Miami, where he claimed to be ahead of schedule in rehabilitating his knee and began the season as the Dolphins' starter. But it became apparent early on that he was far from 100 percent and eventually was benched. When head coach Nick Saban bailed on the franchise, so did the confidence Miami had in Pepp. He was allowed to leave and remained his own agent – something that seemed to cause troubles in his final year in Minnesota. He signed on with the Raiders, but with the drafting of JaMarcus Russell
with the first pick of the 2007 draft, it was clear Culpepper's days were numbered in Oakland.
Released after the end of the season, the closest Culpepper has come to receiving a job offer was a tryout with the Packers in the days prior to this April's draft. Not only didn't the Packers sign him, they drafted two quarterbacks on draft weekend.
As of today, Culpepper remains available to any team that wants him. Right now that number would appear to be zero, as Culpepper hasn't even had a tryout or visit with another team since the draft. With the rash of quarterback injuries, the call to Culpepper could come eventually. But, at this point, you have to wonder when will that be.
In a recent interview with the Pioneer Press, Darren Sharper said he would like to continue playing football through 2011. He is currently under contract through this season with the Vikings.
Matt Birk will run his annual football camp June 15-19 at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul. As a St. Paul native, it is part of Birk's commitment to giving back to the community.
Ciatrick Fason, who got a tryout with the Jaguars last week, has not been signed and remains a free agent.
In a move reminiscent of a movie plot, thieves stole a safe weighing more than 1,000 pounds over the weekend that included gold and precious gems. Among the items lost in the $2 million heist – some of the New York Giants' Super Bowl championship rings. The stolen rings were intended to go to front office and support personnel – the team already received their rings last month.
The Vikings made a roster move earlier this week, signing guard Mike Jones, a former University of Iowa product, and releasing linebacker Brannon Carter.
Former Vikings CB Brian Williams is getting rave reviews at the Jaguars' OTA workouts, having made a seamless transition from cornerback to safety in the offseason.
Some Vikings fans got a scare earlier this week when they saw a news wire item saying that Adrian Peterson had an emergency appendectomy. As it turned out, it was the "other" Adrian Peterson, the running back for the Bears, who needed the surgery. Peterson is said to be doing fine.
Former Viking Troy Williamson and another first-round bust in Jacksonville, WR Matt Jones, may end up competing for the same roster spot. Jones, a converted quarterback, has been much less than expected with the Jags and, if he doesn't make a big move in the preseason, he is rumored to be on the block to be released.
While some fans thought the monster deal signed by Jared Allen was too expensive, it's simply a sign of the times economically in the NFL. On Wednesday, the Saints signed DE Will Smith to a six-year, $63 million extension, showing what the value of pass-rushing DEs has become in the NFL.
In what proved to be a cautionary tale in Cleveland, center LeCharles Bentley, who missed the last two seasons after signing as a free agent from New Orleans, was activated to the roster and then given his release per his request. Bentley suffered a pair of staph infections at the team facility following his initial surgery, one of a handful of Browns players over the last two years that contracted infections following surgery.