The much-heralded quarterback class of 1999 could finally be out of football.
Sure, No. 2 overall pick Donovan McNabb says there’s an 80-to-90-percent chance he’ll play in 2012, but many think there’s an 80-to-90-percent chance he’s wrong. And with Tim Couch (No. 1 overall), Akili Smith (No. 3), and Cade McNown (No. 12) long gone, that leaves only Daunte Culpepper, the 11th selection in the draft that was sandwiched between the drafts that brought Peyton Manning and Tom Brady into the league.
But Culpepper, who retired in 2008 and later changed his mind and joined the Lions, hasn’t formally called it quits. Participating in the first Orlando Youth Football Clinic, Culpepper came close to making it official.
“As far as me playing, I think I am done,” Culpepper said, via Craig Castille of the Orlando Sentinel. “That part of my book is closed. The next chapter is, I have kids and I will be coaching them.
“I will be part of athletics and a part of sports, hopefully my whole life. It makes me feel good. I love to compete. Now I’ll be competing in men’s leagues, in basketball and softball and stuff.”
Eight years ago, Culpepper authored one of the greatest single seasons in NFL history. Though overshadowed by league MVP Peyton Manning, Culpepper threw for 4,717 yards and 39 touchdown passes, completing nearly 70 percent of his throws and racking up a passer rating of 110.9 — seventh-highest of all time and higher than Drew Brees’ 110.6 from 2011.
But Culpepper suffered the knee ligament Trifecta in October of the following season, and he never was the same.
Culpepper played for the Vikings, Dolphins, Raiders, and Lions. He also played for the Sacramento Mountain Lions of the UFL.