Inquiring minds want to know....
http://www.profootballtalk.com/rumormill.htmDAUNTE DONE IN MINNY?
At a time when many of our readers are asking whether quarterback Daunte Culpepper wants out of Minnesota, we're hearing that the Vikings could be the ones making the decision for him.
The thinking is that new Vikings coach Brad Childress doesn't believe that Culpepper will be able to run the West Coast offense, since Culpepper hasn't shown a consistent ability to change plays based on the looks he is getting from the defense. Indeed, his only pre-snap aptitude that we've ever detected was his propensity to spot single coverage on receiver Randy Moss -- and then to chuck the ball to him deep.
The separate, and more significant, issue is Culpepper's knee, which was blown apart on October 30 at Carolina. Even if he is able to start the first regular season game, he'll need every snap in the offseason, training camp, and the preseason to enable him to get ready to run a new offense.
So it could be that, a year after the Vikings shipped Moss out of town for a relatively light package of picks and a player who didn't really contribute in 2005, the Vikes might send packing the guy who supposedly wanted Randy's bad influence out of the way so that he could lead the team without being undermined.
The objective evidence points to problems. Culpepper and Childress have yet to meet in person, and Daunte has been dissing members of the organization ever since he became a forgotten man during the team's improbable six-game winning streak. Pending criminal charges for something he claims he didn't do doesn't help matters, either.
An industry source tells us that Daunte is merely laying low as he considers the various changes to the organization, but we've got a feeling that, even if there's nothing more to it right now, it's heading in the direction of a divorce.
If Daunte is going to get moved, possible destinations are Arizona, Oakland, Miami (if offensive coordinator Scott Linehan stays), and St. Louis (if Linehan becomes the next head coach of the Rams). The Vikings have the cap room to make the move, and Culpepper's value isn't going to get any higher if he struggles for a year or two learning the new attack.
So keep an eye on this one. Barring a public smooch-fest in the near future, our guess is that the new direction in Minny won't include the quarterback whom many thought would lead the team into the next decade.