NFL Teams Still Salty on Pepp

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.


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