Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

25 Jan 2006

Culpepper, Agent Part Ways

Recent reports have suggested that Daunte Culpepper was seeking a pay raise. Let's count all the reasons that this is stupid:
1. He's coming off a serious injury that will likely hamper his playing ability for at least the start of the 2006 season.
2. He already got a huge contract extension in May of 2003.
3. He played a key role in an event that brought shame on the franchise.
4. He played badly in 2005.
5. His backup, Brad Johnson, played well in 2005.

In any event, Culpepper and his agent will no longer be working together. Maybe his agent told him there was no chance he'd get more money given those five factors, and Culpepper dumped him. Or maybe Culpepper thinks it's time to bring in Drew Rosenhaus. But it's looking entirely possible that Culpepper won't be the Vikings' quarterback in 2006. Would you want him on your team?

Posted by: Michael David Smith on 25 Jan 2006

24 comments, Last at 26 Jan 2006, 5:56pm by Dman


by bravehoptoad (not verified) :: Wed, 01/25/2006 - 3:36pm

Hm...Daunte Culpepper or Alex Smith?

Heck, yeah, I'd want him on my team.

by Bob (not verified) :: Wed, 01/25/2006 - 3:51pm

Daunte Culpepper or Tommy Maddox? Nope, stay away Daunte.

by Adam T (not verified) :: Wed, 01/25/2006 - 3:55pm

Maybe Daunte's grab for more money is actually just a clever ploy to make sure he doesn't end up back in Minnesota.

by ajn (not verified) :: Wed, 01/25/2006 - 4:07pm

if you were the titans, would you be interested in a trade that would send the third pick to the vikings in exchange for daunte and the seventeenth pick? vince young would probably cost the titans about as much as daunte culpepper costs, plus they could maybe get winston justice at seventeen for some o-line help. plus, pacman really needs someone like daunte to go out on the lake with...

by Will Allen (not verified) :: Wed, 01/25/2006 - 4:08pm

Interesting, and unpleasant, conumdrum for the Vikings. Culpepper's trade value could only get lower if he had another scrape with the law (and I think his current scrape is much ado about nothing), or if he demonstrated over the next 12 months that his recovery from surgery was not going well. Unless another team is willing to do something pretty stupid, I can't imagine the Vikings could get much right now.

The Vikings could handle pretty easily the cap hit involved in releasing or trading him, if Culpepper forces the issue, but I think they probably would be better served by paying the six million bonus due in March, and adopting a wait and see posture. If Culpepper wants more money, it is in his interest to rehab vigorously, and if he is able to get back on the field next year, or even if it is not until the year after, he has it in his interest to play as well as possible.

Of course, T.O.'s behavior over the past year was completely against his professed interest in getting more money, so there is no accounting for human stupidity, but I don't think Culpepper is that dumb. One of the straws that broke the camel's back in regards to firing his agent seems to have been the agent making statements to the media, so Culpepper may indeed have a clue as to the power of keeping your mouth shut.

by Will Allen (not verified) :: Wed, 01/25/2006 - 4:15pm

ajn, I'd be shocked if the Vikings were to make such a trade. Picking QBs with one of the top slots is so fraught with risk, at least until a new CBA adopts a different salary structure for first round draft picks, that the Vikings would be better off taking a chance on Culpepper's recovery, and trying to trade him later. If I were Vikings management, I'd rather have the Titans' number 1 pick in 2007, along with some lower round picks this year, than the Titans' pick this year.

by Michael David Smith :: Wed, 01/25/2006 - 4:17pm

For the people who would want Culpepper, I ask this: What makes you think you'd be getting the 2004 version rather than the 2005 version? Let's remember that 2004 was quite an outlier year for him. His DVOA in 2003 was good but not great, and in 2002 he was below league average.

by Will Allen (not verified) :: Wed, 01/25/2006 - 4:30pm

I agree MDS, although Culpepper's performance issues this year had a lot to do with how bad his defense and offensive line was in the games he played in. Putting aside the recovery from injury issue for now, taking a chance on Culpepper's future performance is certainly no more risky than taking a chance on a college quarterback with one of the picks at the top of the first round.

by Theo (not verified) :: Wed, 01/25/2006 - 4:31pm

I play first division in the Netherlands. I'd LOVE to have him on our team.

by wrmjr (not verified) :: Wed, 01/25/2006 - 4:39pm

#7 & 8, Below average is likely a significant upgrade at QB for teams like SF, NYJ, Chi, and Buf (and probably others). If you were one of those teams, would you offer some draft picks for someone DC's age might be a better question.

by Will Allen (not verified) :: Wed, 01/25/2006 - 4:50pm

well, 28 isn't terribly old for a quarterback, discounting the current injury that has to be recovered from. Heck, if a team like the Jets or Titans were to offer their number one and some other picks for Culpepper, and not demand the Vikings' number one in return, it'd probably be a good deal for the Vikings, as long as they didn't risk that top pick on a college qb. Given the injury situation, however, I think a team would be stupid to make such an offer.

There's just too much uncertainty floating around this situation for anybody to make a package attractive for the Vikings, therefore nothing is likely to happen.

by B (not verified) :: Wed, 01/25/2006 - 4:52pm

What about Oakland? Perhaps a reunion with Moss will work out, and it's not like an arrest ever disqualified a player from the Raiders before.
(By the way, I love the ad where you can pick which team will win the superbowl, and your three choices are the Patriots, Colts and Broncos.)

by Basilicus (not verified) :: Wed, 01/25/2006 - 4:53pm

Anyone have this creeping feeling that Oakland might get interested?

by pawnking (not verified) :: Wed, 01/25/2006 - 4:56pm

I'm guessing that Dante "sank" all his money in a venture that wasn't, shall we say, copper-bottom? Too many rises lead to the need for a raise. I wonder where the blood that used to be in his brain has gone to.

by sippican (not verified) :: Wed, 01/25/2006 - 4:58pm

The headline:
"Culpepper, Ligaments, Part Ways" should be addressed before the headline: "Culpepper, Agent Part Ways," so we can determine if we're ever going to go back to his earlier weekly headline: "Culpepper, Ball, Part Ways" when he fumbles three times a game?

by CA (not verified) :: Wed, 01/25/2006 - 4:58pm

Maybe Culpepper didn't authorize Mason Ashe to seek that raise in the first place or at least to make it public, and Culpepper is firing him because of the bad PR that his agent created. Culpepper firing his agent seems to me to be an attempt to calm his tumultuous relationship with the Vikings, not a sign that it will get worse.

by Will Allen (not verified) :: Wed, 01/25/2006 - 5:09pm

You may be right CA, although the report I heard about Culpepper storming out of Vikings headquarters, after being rebuffed by the Vikings' capologist in his quest for more guaranteed money, and thus canceling a scheduled meeting with his new head coach, didn't sound too encouraging.

by James, London (not verified) :: Wed, 01/25/2006 - 5:13pm

Daunte Culpepper or Gus Frerotte? I'll take Culpepper now please.

The upside on Culpepper is enormous, and trade based on conditional picks would mitigate the downside. I don't think for a second that this is likely, but if it becomes a possibility I'd say it's worth exploring. Other than (possibly) Mcnair, who like Culpepper,is a serious injury risk, there are no veterans better than Frerotte available this year.

Above average QB play should make Miami a playoff contender next year, and an ageing Miami team can't really wait for a rookie to develop. Assuming you don't draft Akili Smith, you can't realisticaly expect to get Ben Rothelisbeger, and that's if there's anyone worth drafting at #16 in rounds 1-3. (I don't get college ball in the UK. Any suggestions?)

If he's available, then Culpepper is definitely an option Miami should explore. If they can swing a favourable trade (or if Culpepper is released), there needs to be a good reason not to pull the trigger.

by Will Allen (not verified) :: Wed, 01/25/2006 - 5:33pm

James, they aren't going to release him, at least not this year, and I just doubt that the Dolphins and Vikings could find a middle ground acceptable to both sides.

by underthebus (not verified) :: Wed, 01/25/2006 - 5:34pm

Oakland, Oakland, OAKLAND! We love our malcontents here.

by jds (not verified) :: Wed, 01/25/2006 - 6:27pm

I always wonder who sets these things in motion, athlete?, agent?, team?, and what the end game is.

Has Childress decided he can go with Johnson for a year and bring along whoever they can draft this year, so get the talk going and lets see the offers? (as a new coach, he gets a one year holiday from critism, doesn't he?).

Has ownership decided its got to move out all the love boat guys? Up to this point, I would have thought they could do without 2 of the 4 guys charged, but I thought Culpepper was a keeper.

Does he really want more money, and his agent said it can't be done, so he canned him, or does he want more money, but wants it quietly, and by making it public the agent put his job on the line and lost it (Culpepper has taken enough bad publicity lately).

Don't know which is correct, but this is definitely and off-season story (not a story for dead week/silly week).

And given the rehab situation, I don't see anyone making a deal, except perhaps the Raiders (and I don't know they have enough to give). Might be funny though, "I'll trade you a QB with ligament tears, for your tackle with the broken leg"

by Will Allen (not verified) :: Wed, 01/25/2006 - 6:50pm

How bad was Gallery this year? The Vikings need players on the o-line, but they already have enough bad offensive linemen. On the other hand, if Gallery could show himself to be anything close to what was expected of him, he'd be a nice pick-up for the Vikings, if packaged with some other talent or picks.

by joel in providence (not verified) :: Wed, 01/25/2006 - 9:33pm

why would he want to leave minny now? i mean, they've got a new owner who promises to spend money, a new well-respected head coach, no randy moss, a love boat scandal that has pretty much blown over (nationally at least) and a supporting cast on offense that at least has a decent amount of talent. just where does he think he can get more money and a greater chance to win games?

by Dman (not verified) :: Thu, 01/26/2006 - 5:56pm

Like those other guys said joel, miami or oakland.