Sports Outside the Beltway

NFL QB Daunte Culpepper announces his retirement

In the NFL since 1999, Culpepper last played for the Oakland Raiders. From AP-

Daunte Culpepper, unable to land a starting or backup job this offseason, announced his retirement at the age of 31.

Culpepper had one-year offers from the Green Bay Packers and Pittsburgh Steelers this offseason for backup jobs, but didn’t find those offers suitable. Though his surgically reconstructed knee was healthy and his arm still strong during visits to those teams, Culpepper decided to end his career.

“After taking a long look at my career and my personal convictions, I have decided to begin early retirement from the NFL effective immediately,” Culpepper said in an e-mail.

“Since the beginning of training camp, I was told my opportunity would come when a quarterback gets hurt. I cannot remember the last time so many quarterbacks have been injured during the preseason,” Culpepper said. ” I have been strongly encouraged from family, friends and league personnel to continue to be patient and wait for an inevitable injury to one of the starting quarterbacks in the league.

The 11th pick in the 1999 draft, Culpepper played nine seasons for three teams — the Minnesota Vikings, Miami Dolphins and Oakland Raiders. His best days were in Minnesota where he established himself as one of the league’s top quarterbacks.

During his career, Culpepper completed 1,867 of 2,927 passes for 22,422 yards and 142 touchdowns. His career quarterback rating was a lofty 89.9. His best season was in 2004 when he threw for 4,717 yards and 39 touchdowns for the Vikings.

But he blew out his knee the next season, and his career wasn’t the same afterwards.

That didn’t prevent the Miami Dolphins from throwing away a 2nd round pick on Culpepper, when Drew Brees was available also. We all know what happened after that deal. Culpepper played just four games in a Dolphin uniform before being benched. He was released in early 2007.

Culpepper was a rarity in the NFL in that he represented himself rather than hire a agent. Good luck in retirement Daunte.

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