Always tease, tease, tease…will he stay or will he go? Darling, you gotta let me know.
So, what to make of the conflicting signals being sent out from all sides of the Daunte Culpepper situation? First there’s Culpepper making waves about wanting more cash and not meeting face to face with Brad Childress. Then there are stories that the powers that be a Winter Park are offended at Culpepper’s attempts to negotiate for more money.
It starts to look like we’ve got a malcontent quarterback on our hands who’s forcing a trade which naturally elicits trade rumors that no one really quashes.
The Veteran told me that he thought the Vikings were trying to prove to Culpepper that he’s overvalued himself by shopping the quarterback around and demonstrating that teams don’t think he’s worth a second-round pick. It’s a great argument that makes a lot of sense.
But then today there are reports of all these shiny, happy people: Childress praises Daunte’s rehabilitation work; the team sends head trainer Eric Sugarman to Orlando and he comes back proclaiming that Culpepper should be ready to play this season; and Culpepper himself says that owner Zygi Wilf told him they haven’t talked trade with any teams.
Today’s news makes me think the Vikings are serious about trading Pepp and are either not getting the kinds of offers they think Culpepper is worth or realize they need to assuage concerns other teams have over the quarterback’s injuries and availability for next season.
My preference is for the Vikings to keep Culpepper, expect that he won’t play in 2006, give him that year to fully recover from his injuries and learn the West Coast offense in-depth, and find out if he’s going to work as a quarterback in that system.
If not, they can trade Culpepper then and get true value for him because even if he doesn’t eventually work out for us, he is an amazing athlete.