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  1. #1
    Muggsy is offline Asst. Coach
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    5 teammates stump to keep Culpepper

    McKinnie to Vikings: Don't make same mistake
    BY SEAN JENSEN
    Pioneer Press

    The Vikings and Daunte Culpepper have been tight-lipped amid trade speculation involving the quarterback.

    But left tackle Bryant McKinnie, tight end Jermaine Wiggins, defensive tackle Kevin Williams, nose tackle Pat Williams and cornerback Antoine Winfield all said they hope Culpepper remains their teammate and that the team would be worse off without him.

    "That's crazy," McKinnie said when asked about the speculation of Culpepper being traded. "I don't agree with trading him. Last year, they traded Randy Moss.

    "We already made one mistake (trading Moss). Don't do it twice. If that's the case, let me go."

    McKinnie said the Vikings have had a smooth offseason and that he is looking forward to returning to Winter Park soon to meet the new coaches and staff. But McKinnie, who is scheduled to be an unrestricted free agent after the 2007 season, said he would not want to remain a Viking if Culpepper is gone.

    "I didn't like the trade last year, so I'm definitely not going to like this trade," McKinnie said. "Trading would not solve anything. What's that going to do? Make somebody else's team better that we might have to play against?"

    Pat Williams said of the possibility of losing Culpepper, "It would be a big loss because we would be starting from scratch."

    A Vikings spokesman declined comment, and Culpepper did not respond to an interview request for this story.

    Winfield said Culpepper was one of the main reasons he signed with the Vikings two years ago and backed out of a deal with the New York Jets.

    "I want him here," Winfield said. "I enjoy playing with him; he's a great guy to be around, and he's definitely a leader. I mean, he had a few bad games last year. But he's had a great career. He'll bounce back, whether it's here or somewhere else."

    Wiggins said judging Culpepper by his 2005 season is unfair.

    "The guy has been to three Pro Bowls, and in 2004, if Peyton Manning doesn't have the year he had, Daunte would have been an MVP contender," Wiggins said. "Obviously, last year he got hurt and we didn't play well as a team, and that reflects on him. A lot of it had to do with us as a team, and we weren't doing the things we needed to do. But people in the media will put the brunt of it on his shoulders, because he is the quarterback."

    McKinnie said he is surprised the Vikings haven't been more sensitive to and forthcoming with Culpepper.

    "The man went through a lot this season," McKinnie said. "The team should at least let Daunte know what's happening. He's got a lot of stress right now. They should be upfront with him."

    Added Winfield, "He's been injured, and he doesn't know his future. If I were him, I'd be like, 'Dang, does this team even want me here?' "

    Wiggins said he and other teammates have been frustrated with all the speculation involving Culpepper.

    "As players, it kind of concerns us because everything is done by anonymous sources," Wiggins said. "As players, we'd rather stuff be straightforward, whatever it may be, so you can focus on the guys who are going to be on your team and what direction people want to go. But this is a business, and we have to realize that. There's a lot of things that come of it, good and bad."

    Pat Williams said he wouldn't believe the trade rumors until someone makes a public comment.

    "Our owner hasn't said anything, so I don't believe it," he said.

    Owner Zygi Wilf has not responded to interview requests from the Pioneer Press about Culpepper.

    A key sticking point between the Vikings and Culpepper is believed to be money, which doesn't surprise Winfield.

    "I respect every player in this league," Winfield said. "It's a tough game, and you're not going to be in this forever. So players who hold out for more money, I don't hold anything against them."

    Winfield said teams do nothing when a player outperforms his contract. But they insist on a pay cut or restructuring if a player underperforms.

    McKinnie applauded the play of Brad Johnson but wondered about his future.

    "Brad did a great job," McKinnie said of Johnson, who will turn 38 in September. "But you can't say he's a long-term quarterback. Not taking anything away from him, but how many more full seasons can he last?"

    Added Pat Williams, "I'm not saying Brad wouldn't get the job done. But we still need Culpepper."

    With a $6 million roster bonus due on March 17, Culpepper's future likely will be decided sooner rather than later.
    "From the fury of the Northmen, O Lord, save us!"
    -- From a monestary in Ireland.

  2. #2
    Navycoach's Avatar
    Navycoach is offline Starter
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    Re: 5 teammates stump to keep Culpepper

    Can I go jump on their wagon? Hell yeah, I hope the front office is listening to their players!

  3. #3
    DarrinNelsonguy's Avatar
    DarrinNelsonguy is offline Team Alumni
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    Re: 5 teammates stump to keep Culpepper

    I put a lot of stake in what players say (yeah right) And do these player know all of the specifics in this case and I think Daunte is the one trying to force his way outta here. Besides hard line opinions by players change in an instant.
    For example:

    "Kerry Collins is a better QB that Pep"- Moss
    "I will retire after this year"- Bonds (recants a whole day later)

    The whole Viking auora is new and none of us know the MO of this new staff, so it is hard to tell how things will shake out.
    "Hard work beats talent, when talent doesn t work hard."

  4. #4
    thepacksux's Avatar
    thepacksux is offline Asst. Coach
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    Re: 5 teammates stump to keep Culpepper

    hopefully the front office realizes that the core of our best players just said they want him here and our franchise left tackle said he would leave after 07 if they traded him. thats a big enough reason to wait on pep's knee to me!

  5. #5
    snowinapril's Avatar
    snowinapril is offline Jersey Retired
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    Re: 5 teammates stump to keep Culpepper

    OMV, this one has been posted in the aggressively trading/shopping Pep thread

  6. #6
    ejmat is offline Jersey Retired
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    Re: 5 teammates stump to keep Culpepper

    I've been for trading Pep if the right offer comes around. After reading this I hope the staff takes into consideration what the team thinks. Bad morale is not good for a team. You can have all the superstars yo uwant but if they are not happy they will not perform to their potential. Obviously there are other factors to consider but taking imput from teammates is important as well.

  7. #7
    singersp's Avatar
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    Re: 5 teammates stump to keep Culpepper

    For a quick link, this is where the article is posted;

    Teammates stump to keep Culpepper

    "If at first you don't succeed, parachuting is not for you"

  8. #8
    jordy is offline Rookie
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    Re: 5 teammates stump to keep Culpepper

    if a guy like mckinnie says that he doesn't want to be a viking after next year,....that's just another BIG reason not to trade c-pep.... it's good that his teammates jump in now, because maybe this can convince ziggi that this trade would be the dumbest move you can possibly make....

  9. #9
    jordy is offline Rookie
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    Re: 5 teammates stump to keep Culpepper

    if a guy like mckinnie says that he doesn't want to be a viking after next year,....that's just another BIG reason not to trade c-pep.... it's good that his teammates jump in now, because maybe this can convince ziggi that this trade would be the dumbest move you can possibly make....

  10. #10
    josdin00's Avatar
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    Re: 5 teammates stump to keep Culpepper

    As singer pointed out, this has already been posted.
    http://www.purplepride.org/index.php?name=Forums&file=viewtopic&p=321850#3218 50

    -Locked-

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