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Culpepper highlights free agent quarterback class

1227.jpgOf the many names on the list of NFC North free agents, there’s one we find more intriguing than any other.

Daunte Culpepper.

One of five quarterbacks taken in the first round of the 1999 draft, Culpepper had the best single season of any of them, cranking out a passer rating of 110.9 in 2004.

The next year, a career with Canton potential became derailed, due to a shredded knee.  The Dolphins still thought enough of him, even with three surgically repaired ligaments, to send a second-round pick to the Vikings at a time when Drew Brees was available for no compensation to the Chargers.

Since then, Culpepper has been a bright spot on bad teams.  In 2006, he arguably was rushed back into action before his knee was ready, resulting eventually in a placement on injured reserve. 

In 2007, he played for the Raiders.  Enough said.

He then joined the Lions after spending months on the market and getting no interest, and temporarily retiring.  The Lions.  Again, enough said.

With a plenty of teams needing help at quarterback and not many options available in unrestricted free agency (bigger names are available via restricted free agency), it’ll be interesting to see whether anyone gives Culpepper a chance to show whether, in the right circumstance, he can recapture the magic of 2004.

We don’t know whether he can, but we’re rooting for him.

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69 Responses to “Culpepper highlights free agent quarterback class”
  1. doe22us says: Feb 19, 2010 12:07 AM

    yeah Florio we know Daunte is your buddy but the dude doesnt have it anymore

  2. backuppunter says: Feb 19, 2010 12:09 AM

    Go Dante Go!

  3. Dolphinatic says: Feb 19, 2010 12:15 AM

    Sorry how we did you Daunte…. if we had stuck with you, who knows where you’d be now….Damn curse of the Marino.

  4. litemater says: Feb 19, 2010 12:17 AM

    Well maybe an AGENT could have done something for him sooner rather than later….

  5. Lost says: Feb 19, 2010 12:18 AM

    Free the Tiger

  6. ParkerFly says: Feb 19, 2010 12:21 AM

    Culpepper highlighting this class shows just how bad it is. He was great when he had great talent surrounding him, however I’m not sure even that would resurrect his career now.

  7. VikesCan'tBuyARing says: Feb 19, 2010 12:27 AM

    Is this a joke? Did anyone watch any of the games Culpepper has played over the last two years? Terrible throws, terrible accuracy, terrible decisions, limited mobility… he’s done.

  8. ladybucs&steelersnut says: Feb 19, 2010 12:28 AM

    Thanx for this story, Florio… to me you finally got one right! I have always felt that Dante Culpepper did not get his chance to get his due strictly because he wanted to do it all HIMSELF.
    I think this guy had it, could possibly still have it. I understand him not wanting to give it to an agent… but look where he is now. No agent… no team… but still (IMO) has talent.

  9. www_smoothdaddyride_com says: Feb 19, 2010 12:33 AM


  10. mofo says: Feb 19, 2010 12:46 AM

    Culpepper “highlights” free agent quarterback class

  11. Gbp123 says: Feb 19, 2010 12:50 AM

    Right, so the problem is everyone else except for Daunte. If only the great teams would just realize the utter greatness that is the Culpepper.
    If he was such a great talent still, he would have been the catalyst for a team like the Raiders or Lions, maybe giving them 2-3 more wins. If you need to surround the guy with Pro Bowl talent everywhere it just proves he was a one season wonder.

  12. Gergie says: Feb 19, 2010 12:53 AM

    If Culpepper is the Highlight, It ain’t saying much for this years free agent QB class.

  13. .VoxVeritas says: Feb 19, 2010 1:08 AM

    “We don’t know whether he can, but we’re rooting for him.”
    Remember when you said that Culpepper was worse than Vick? Yeah I didn’t think so.

  14. Chad Pennington's Noodle Arm says: Feb 19, 2010 1:14 AM

    If Daunte Culpepper highlights this year’s free agent quarterback class, then there really must be slim pickings all around.

  15. ToledoLions says: Feb 19, 2010 1:15 AM

    WOW Florio took a cheap shot at the Lions! Never seen that before. Daunte sucks, get off it you washed up lawyer hack. That’s the difference between you and reporters and journalists. Real journalists and reporters stay objective and don’t show their borderline homosexual love for players like Bert Favre.
    So if the Lions ever get to a respectable level again will you start piping them like you do the Vikings, Saints, Colts, Cowboys, and Steelers?

  16. jkr says: Feb 19, 2010 1:25 AM

    I think he does have something left and detroit made a mistake in drafting stafford they aren’t going anywhere anyways so they could have kept pepper for 3 or 4 more years and rebuilt that team starting with the defense,Oh well detroit loves drafting shitty qbs.

  17. 6250claimer says: Feb 19, 2010 1:43 AM

    That headline really grabbed my attention – “Culpepper Highlights” – wth?? Isn’t that akin to “military intelligence”, “jumbo shrimp”, and “sanitary landfill”? How many years old is this 30-second clip??

  18. Brandon Folsom says: Feb 19, 2010 1:44 AM

    Lions should just resign him again. He wasnt THAT bad. Just didnt have much to work with.

  19. heres2life says: Feb 19, 2010 2:30 AM

    Woa! Florio going to bat for Culpepper, giving him the benefit of the doubt in each and every instance no matter what, and doing the very thing he often criticized reporters for (sucking up to players)?! Thats totally unexpected!….
    Seriously Florio, I love coming here, great site and everything, I agree with you on most things, but your man crush on Culpepper is sickening. Have some objectivity for crying out loud.
    You realize that if anyone else had “retired” because they couldn’t find anyone to sign them, then “unretired” just to sign with a team, you would insult them with no remorse? but you never once questioned Culpepper because he once wrote you an email or something. Come on, at least admit your bias.

  20. nshima dot com says: Feb 19, 2010 2:42 AM

    Cue all the commenters who say his 2004 season was all about throwing to Randy Moss.

  21. Bravesfan4life88 says: Feb 19, 2010 2:44 AM

    highlights isnt the right word

  22. Turd Ferguson says: Feb 19, 2010 3:19 AM

    Florio, I think we’ve talked about this…you sound like an idiot kicker who got liquored up and ran his mouth off. Look, I love me some Daunte Culpepper; he single-handedly won me two fantasy football leagues….7 YEARS AGO!!

  23. Skoods says: Feb 19, 2010 3:36 AM

    lol Culpepper sucks.

  24. Skoods says: Feb 19, 2010 3:38 AM

    And it wasn’t the knee injury that did him in, it was losing Moss after ’04. Look at his ’05 season…he didn’t do anything (well, besides doing strippers on the love boat). He had a 2-1 INT:TD ratio once he couldn’t just lob it up for Randy.

  25. mlegue810 says: Feb 19, 2010 4:45 AM

    He’s worse than Stafford. That should tell you all you need to know.

  26. bluelion says: Feb 19, 2010 5:11 AM

    “…a bright spot on bad teams”
    Clearly, you’ve never seen his play in the Lions games over the last two years. A bright spot, not, perhaps a black hole, where no light exists.

  27. faulkn22 says: Feb 19, 2010 5:27 AM

    His hands are too small.
    He constantly fumbles.
    He can’t read defenses.
    He can’t make quick decisions properly.
    He can throw it deep… sort of.
    Yeah, I’m going out on a limb here and saying that he’s either backing someone up or retiring.

  28. WildBirdOffense says: Feb 19, 2010 6:11 AM

    lmao! “Due to a shredded knee”? LMAO! Daunte was made by Randy Moss. Culpepper was never anything more than a strong armed athletic quarterback with a great deep ball and nothing else. When he lost his deep ball threat, he had NOTHING. No accuracy. All he had was athleticism, when that was gone, so was his “QB play”. He’s much like another certain QB in Philadelphia that wears the number 5.

  29. LighTsouT says: Feb 19, 2010 6:15 AM

    Doesn’t have it anymore? What he doesn’t have anymore is an offensive line, a decent WR core, and ultimately, because of this, time. However, you might be right, he might not have it anymore. But we dont know for sure. [=

  30. steelerfan9598 says: Feb 19, 2010 6:19 AM

    “it’ll be interesting to see whether anyone gives Culpepper a chance to show whether, in the right circumstance, he can recapture the magic of 2004.”
    Not unless he brings Moss and Carter with him.

  31. Redruckus81 says: Feb 19, 2010 6:21 AM

    come on Florio, Dan freakin Orlovsky was and still is better than Culpepper is now

  32. jaxdolfan says: Feb 19, 2010 6:23 AM

    He is no good. Enough said.

  33. bwisnasky says: Feb 19, 2010 6:30 AM

    Played for the Raiders… enough said.. yeah right… How about played pitifully for the Raiders… the only team he showed up against was Miami for the grudge factor. I imagine if you find a team that has a schedule of just playing Minnesota, Miami, Oakland, and Detroit you could have a 4-0 QB with this turd.

  34. Gweez says: Feb 19, 2010 6:41 AM

    I would say your explanation of his troubles are “simplistic”.
    I like the guy and hope the best but if you’re going to say he suffered on bad teams then acknowledge his early numbers were inflated by the “close your eyes and heave it down field with in 10 yards of Randy Moss” rinse-repeat years.

  35. tv says: Feb 19, 2010 6:46 AM

    This dude is still in the NFL??
    Who knew??

  36. section128drunk says: Feb 19, 2010 6:54 AM

    is this “the Onion”??
    Dante had one good game in the last 5 years..
    FREE AGENT?? he’s lucky he landed with a team last year, put a fork in him, he’s done!!!

  37. DonTerrelli says: Feb 19, 2010 7:02 AM

    I met Culpepper in Atlantic City in 05, he’s a nice guy

  38. ChuckForeman44 says: Feb 19, 2010 7:03 AM

    Culpepper showed flashes of brilliance when he was in Minny, but he was throwing to Carter and Moss. He has small hands for a man his size and he fumbles too much. He was great if the receiver was wide open but couldnt throw to a spot knowing the receiver would be there. He wasnt much at reading defenses either. Still, I have to wonder if hes better that T-Jack or Sage. that scenario wont really matter because Klinks pride locked that door 4 yrs ago.

  39. FireJerryJones says: Feb 19, 2010 7:07 AM

    You forgot to mention Jeff George is also a free agent.

  40. BigMikey says: Feb 19, 2010 7:11 AM

    If he still has the deep ball goin’, it wouldn’t bother me at all if the Panthers brought him in for a cursory glance. Just to shake the tree and see what falls out.

  41. twindaddy says: Feb 19, 2010 7:18 AM

    Wow, the guy corresponded with you exclusively a couple years ago and now you’re all over his nutsack? Lame, Florio, even for you.

  42. zilla1126 says: Feb 19, 2010 7:20 AM

    Did you cut and paste this from his agent?

  43. John Spagnola says: Feb 19, 2010 7:26 AM

    Highlights what? It must be highlighting how bad the FA QB class is.

  44. patpatriotagain says: Feb 19, 2010 7:28 AM

    raiders, lions, the only crappy team left – st. louis

  45. PURPLECOLONEL says: Feb 19, 2010 7:37 AM


  46. JMClarkent says: Feb 19, 2010 7:49 AM

    Dante Culpepper hasn’t been “Dante Culpepper” since he blew his knee out. He was awful in Miami, medicore in Oakland (He had a good “Statement game against Miami…), and terrible in Detroit the last few years.
    I would like to see him do well again, but it’s looking like it’s almost PFT Guest Blogger time for Dante.

  47. Chapnasty2 says: Feb 19, 2010 7:51 AM

    Do you ever stop and consider that maybe those teams were bad because without Moss he is an absolutely terrible QB? Maybe he is a nice guy who did an absolutely ugly and uncoordinated dance back in the day but I don’t see any evidence to support him being talented without Moss. He will be backup somewhere for the rest of his career, that is if someone wants him to be thier backup.

  48. jallen69 says: Feb 19, 2010 7:52 AM

    If he has a 2004 Randy Moss to pass too he might be a good number 2 QB.

  49. Wallace321 says: Feb 19, 2010 7:52 AM

    i wouldnt say he doesnt have it. i would say he needs to go to a team that doesnt completly blow

  50. adeem4578 says: Feb 19, 2010 7:57 AM

    This guy a bright spot??? (fart)

  51. Shaun Lowrie says: Feb 19, 2010 8:29 AM

    Six full years and a destroyed knee later…

  52. TiceWasBetter says: Feb 19, 2010 8:38 AM

    2004 was pretty sweet for Daunte, 39 tds to 11 int and 4,000+ yrds. Only 13 of those tds went to Moss who was out half that year with a hamstring injury.
    2005 Moss was gone, but SO WAS the offensive coordinator and the owner was so cheep at the time that he forced Tice to make Steve Loney the o-line and o-cord. A job he wasn’t qualified for, he wasn’t even a good o-line coach either. Thats what was wrong with Daunte in ’05, they were basically making there own plays on the fly half the time. It was a joke, thanks again Red McCombs for your cheapness.
    Daunte had a great game against Green Bay before going into Carolina and was never the same again after that knee was shredded. Hopefully he can go somewhere and get his roll on again, because he is better then most starters in the league. Most of ’em, but not many.

  53. nagurski_T_form says: Feb 19, 2010 8:44 AM

    Daunte…come to the bills and start in 2010!
    You’re A LOT better than what they have now.
    Dude, I’m publicly lobbying for your a**…don’t let us down!

  54. Crowder911 says: Feb 19, 2010 8:48 AM

    – free agency, fumblepepper is the best man available
    – draft, probalby the worst talent since ice age
    – trade, when michael “who let that dogs out” vick is one of the better options
    – your starting QB carries on the back a name as such as Leinart, Edwards, Quinn, Sanchez, Russell
    let me tell you something….
    if you are a franchise WITHOUT a franchise QB or a promising young talent under center…
    its time to think about some lingerie football or move your franchise to the arena league

  55. quadya says: Feb 19, 2010 9:02 AM

    Daunte and the work Highlight should be no where near eachother….

  56. similis says: Feb 19, 2010 9:32 AM

    Florio please stop embarrassing yourself with this Daunte Culpepper fetish. He SUCKS.
    Give the Culpepper jerseys to Goodwill and move on please… I can’t stomach one more positive story about that loser has-been head case.

  57. John Spagnola says: Feb 19, 2010 9:41 AM

    Culpepper: The new Jeff George of PFT.
    Credability: Zero.

  58. Ross'sSweetMinus says: Feb 19, 2010 9:46 AM

    I think he should play for the Bears!

  59. drumbug71 says: Feb 19, 2010 9:49 AM

    “He then joined the Lions after spending months on the market and getting no interest, and temporarily retiring. The Lions. Again, enough said.”
    Don’t forget that the Steelers brought him in for workouts when Batch went down, and all reports indicated that they wanted to sign him, but he ended up having too much pride and wanted a) a chance to start and b) starter money. The ironic thing was he ended up signing with the Lions…and being a backup.
    He did generate interest, but he just couldn’t swallow his pride and admit that it’s been 10 years since he came into the league, and that the best he can hope for now is a veteran-backup QB role.

  60. CapsLockKey says: Feb 19, 2010 10:02 AM

    It’s simply the teams that were bad and not Culpepper.
    …and I’m the President of the United States.
    Funny though how good quarterbacks find a way to make teams that were formerly terrible playoff caliber. Brees/Saints, Ryan/Falcons, Pennington/Dolphins, etc.

  61. slipkid says: Feb 19, 2010 10:02 AM

    he was that bad. the rookie outplayed him badly.
    pullpecker’s arm is shot now too. never was accurate, never could read defenses. fumbles.
    he sucks, always has. and moss wasnt out for “half” that year. 3 games is more like it.

  62. edgy1957 says: Feb 19, 2010 10:09 AM

    For every one who thinks that Donovan McNabb is overrated, meet the QB That Moss Built. Randy should have gotten 3/4 of his bonus and salary for what he did for him.

  63. realitypolice says: Feb 19, 2010 10:20 AM

    In 2007, he played for the Raiders. Enough said.
    He then joined the Lions after spending months on the market and getting no interest, and temporarily retiring. The Lions. Again, enough said.
    You’re right- enough said. Two times on the free agent market, two times zero interest from teams that had a clue.
    This is a joke, right? The lions started a QB with one arm instead of taking a chance on putting Culpepper in. Listing his stats from 2004 as justification for signing him now is like listing Tomlinson’s from that year and saying that means he is still great.

  64. TSE says: Feb 19, 2010 12:26 PM

    Why would you want to root for Daunte? That’s the most interesting part of the article and he doesn’t address that. I’m a Lions fan so I don’t have much respect for the guy after how poorly he played last year. He had a bad attitude and wasn’t prepared to play in the games. He’s lazy and irresponsible and not good anymore.

  65. SwedishMurderMachine says: Feb 19, 2010 5:04 PM

    My favorite memory of this guy is when he demanded a raise to like 10 million a year after setting some new NFL turnover record and hurting his knee. Then he got all butt hurt w/the Vikings didn’t want to pay that much for a s*itty QB and forced a trade to Miami.

  66. brett says: Feb 19, 2010 6:06 PM

    daunte is done, put a fork in him!! on top of not having the skills anymore, he cant read a def and member he is his own agent which is makes his situation even worse

  67. reckdd12 says: Feb 20, 2010 3:20 AM


  68. checktheblock says: Feb 20, 2010 7:09 AM

    He had one good season, He has never been able to read defenses so he takes forever to make a decision then his throw takes forever.
    Detroit picked him up because they were desperate. He is the worst move Miami has ever made and is the reason Nick Saban is in Alabama.

  69. Mike Rendahl says: Feb 21, 2010 4:38 PM

    Big D, We still love ya (forever a Viking) #11 #84

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