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  1. #471
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    Re: Vikings Aggressively Shopping CPep .....

    Posted on Fri, Feb. 24, 2006

    [size=18px]Childress says teams have contacted Vikings about Culpepper[/size]

    BY SEAN JENSEN
    Knight Ridder Newspapers


    INDIANAPOLIS - Coach Brad Childress acknowledged for the first time Friday that the Vikings have spoken to other teams about a possible trade involving quarterback Daunte Culpepper.

    Childress said the Vikings did not initiate any of the discussions and the team has not ruled out releasing or trading its three-time Pro Bowl quarterback.

    "You know, the phone rings both ways," Childress said during a news conference at the NFL scouting combine. "You don't not talk to people when they call.

    "So we've had inquiries. I mean, that's what happens this time of year. So you listen to everything that's going on and find out what's subterfuge and kind of go from there."

    Childress was asked if the Vikings were shopping Culpepper or if other teams were contacting Minnesota to gauge the quarterback's availability.
    "I would say it's probably the latter," Childress said. "I've had a couple phone calls myself. I can't speak for anybody else."

    Childress' comments contradict a statement Culpepper issued Thursday, as well as multiple published reports that the Vikings initiated discussions with other clubs. Referring to a conversation he had with owner Zygi Wilf on Tuesday, Culpepper said, "(Wilf) told me that the Vikings have not yet spoken to other teams about trading me."

    Wilf was unavailable for comment, and Culpepper declined comment. On Friday, Childress passed on several chances to quash the speculation surrounding Culpepper and did not dismiss the possibility of releasing the quarterback. Culpepper is coming off a devastating injury; he tore three ligaments in his right knee.

    "You don't ever say never at this time of year," said Childress, who spoke to Culpepper by phone Wednesday. "Never and always are two long periods of time."

    Childress should know, given his experience last year in Philadelphia. Then the Eagles' offensive coordinator, Childress endured a messy contract squabble between the team and Pro Bowl receiver Terrell Owens. That issue divided the Eagles, led to Owens' ouster and contributed to the team's fall from NFC champions in 2004 to 6-10 in 2005.

    Childress said, for now, he expects Culpepper and veteran Brad Johnson will be his two top quarterbacks entering training camp.

    "I don't know anything to the contrary," Childress said. "Like I said, all my energy, in talking to our trainer and sending our trainer down there, is about getting (Culpepper) back to the level of play that he established in 2004."

    Culpepper is off to a solid start in his rehabilitation, based on an evaluation provided by head athletic trainer Eric Sugarman.

    "I was just happy that we were able to get somebody down there and put their hands on Daunte and look at his progress," Childress said. "He's doing a great job by all indications with that. We should be able to see him do some limited running drills."

    Childress wouldn't predict if Culpepper could be ready for training camp. "We're three months out right now," Childress said. "What I've been told about this injury, (is it's) nine to 12 months. If he's a quick healer, that's possible."

    Childress stressed that Culpepper should not be rushed. "You want to make sure that (the knee is) stable," he said. "That's a big guy. You want that knee to be solid. Particularly the way he plays the game."

    Childress said the Vikings have no "recourse" against the $6 million due to Culpepper on March 17. But the most obvious option is releasing him, which would provide the club a net savings, for salary-cap purposes, of more than $2 million.

    Asked about Culpepper's offer to move the payment date of his bonus, Childress said, "If it's friendly to us, surely. I'm not sure he knew what was friendly to us and what wasn't friendly to us. But it was a good gesture on his part."

    Childress wouldn't assess whether the quality and quantity of his dialogue with Culpepper had improved. "Those conversations are between Daunte and us, and they're right along the same lines that I used to have with Donovan McNabb," Childress said. "Some of them are a little more elevating, and some of them are a little more upbeat."

    When asked about Culpepper's ability to run the West Coast offense, Childress said, "He's got a pretty good background."

    Childress made it clear he wants Culpepper to spend more time in the Twin Cities. "I'd like to see him get up here and kind of immerse himself offensively into this thing," Childress said. "There is a volume and a lot of language with (the offense). Probably the best place to be would be in Minneapolis."

    On Thursday, five Vikings starters lobbied for Culpepper to remain with the team. Childress said he respected his players' opinions.

    "It's not a mind-control business," he said. "Guys, they have opinions as well, and in a lot of instances they are going to state those opinions. As I mentioned to you, Daunte's a good football player and ... you don't want to lose good football players."

    Childress says teams have contacted Vikings about Culpepper

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

  2. #472
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    Re: Vikings Aggressively Shopping CPep .....

    Posted on Sat, Feb. 25, 2006

    [size=18px]Web site has the scoop on Vikings, NFL NOTHING BUT NET[/size]

    If Daunte Culpepper wonders if he's getting the straight story from the junta running the Vikings, other stories are available. That's where ProFootballTalk.com comes in.

    Editor Mike Florio and his staff are staying on top of the Culpepper story, with the help of links to the Pioneer Press and other sources, and drawing conclusions that aren't flattering to Vikings owner Zygi Wilf.

    "Unless Culpepper is lying about what Wilf said to him (which is possible but not likely), then Wilf has lied to Culpepper in an effort to put the genie back in the bottle, in the event a trade can't be accomplished," Florio wrote.

    "In this regard, we know one thing for an absolute fact. The Vikings have talked to other teams about a trade. The Vikings initiated the discussions."

    The tedium that marked Dennis Green's term as the Vikings' chief spokesman appears to be back. Fortunately, there are places to turn other than the team's management for reports on the franchise.

    — Gary Derong

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

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