Vikings Looking to Extend Culpepper

After sending mixed signals during the season, the Vikings are now said to be looking to invest some of their available cap room in signing Daunte Culpepper to a long-term extension.

The Vikings were hesitant when asked about getting a long-term deal done with Daunte Culpepper after he struggled for much of the 2001 season and the first half of 2002 -- leading to the first benching of his career.

That has changed. VU has been told the Vikings have approached Culpepper and his agents to talk about a long-term extension. With so many teams currently looking for young QBs, the Vikings may be acting while the fire is hot.

While no dates for sitting down have been discussed, expect to see Culpepper sign an extension before training camp opens. He will be entering the final year of a five-year contract he signed as a rookie.

THURSDAY NOTES
* The Vikings still retain the franchise player tag and could use it on Culpepper in 2004 if a deal isn't worked out. The Vikings have never used the franchise tag in the years of its existence.
* Early word out of the Vikings war room is that they are targeting DT Jimmy Kennedy with their first pick and will need at least two and probably three teams to take quarterbacks in front of them to make that happen.
* Word is the new special teams may not include Nick Davis on both kick and punt returns. He's seen as too injury-prone to handle both duties.

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