Daunte Culpepper Retires
Â Â Â Â Â Former Vanguard high star Daunte Culpepper summed up his thoughts Thursday in two words, which ushered in the start of a new era for the former Pro Bowl quarterback. "Farewell NFL," he wrote.Â With that, a career once filled with such promise came to a most unceremonious end.Â Culpepper, who starred for the Minnesota Vikings before a major knee injury in 2005 curtailed his career, announced his retirement in an e-mail Thursday morning, saying he's simply grown tired of fighting for one more opportunity.
The 31-year-old was the Vikings' first-round draft choice in 1999, became their full-time starter a year later, and teamed with Randy Moss to pile up yards and touchdowns at an impressive rate.Â But he hurt his right knee in October 2005, never played for the Vikings again, and never seemed to return to his past level, either.
Last season, the Oakland Raiders took a shot on Culpepper, and he made five starts there, albeit only getting five touchdown passes in those games.Â And over the past few months, he tried to get any opportunity around the league, even saying just last week that he'd be willing to be Aaron Rodgers' backup in Green Bay.
There were no takers, and CulpepperÂ saw no reason to keep waiting.Â CulpepperÂ completed 64 percent of his passes in a nine-year career, with 142 touchdowns. The 6-foot-4, 265-pounder out of Central Florida was a three-time Pro Bowl selection, and he was at his best in 2004, when he established career-highs in yards (4,717), touchdowns (39) and passing rating (110.9).
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