Now that former Vikings and Dolphins quarterback Daunte Culpepper has “won his freedom” from Miami, the question will be – where does he end up next, and in what position. The thought of Daunte being a starter again right now is a bit of a stretch, as the first thing that he will have to do is prove once again that he is healthy and can play the game at a high level. Culpepper of course thinks that being a top notch QB again will not be an issue, as he sent an email to the Miami Herald stating that he feels he will “be a standout in the league again shortly.” As far as being a starter, the paper quoted Daunte as stating in the same email: “I feel that I could have started in Miami if I would have been given an opportunity to compete.”
So now the attention turns to where does he go next. The obvious choice is Jacksonville, where the Jags are in somewhat of a flux at the QB spot. Bryon Leftwich and David Garrard have both over the years shown signs of being solid QB’s, but neither overall has been able to take their teams to the next level. Not right now that Culpepper likely would either, but we all know that when playing in Minnesota, Culpepper had the ability to take his team deep in the playoffs.
Another chance that has now popped up will be Atlanta, where the team is panic stricken with no Matt Schaub (traded to Houston) and now the indictment with Michael Vick coming to light, the team could be in deep trouble. Would the Falcons take a flyer on Daunte? If they know that Vick is about to face suspension, they might be one of the top teams in the market for a starting quarterback. I can’t believe that the team would want to head into the competitive NFC South with Joey Harrington or Chris Redman as the starter.
Finally there is Green Bay, which by all reports were thinking about Culpepper, but then seemed to back off the talk they may bring him in. They know that Brett Favre is not going anywhere, at least for 2007, and they still have little idea of what former first-round pick Aaron Rodgers can do in a pressure packed situation. While the Pack has to be thinking past 2007 and when Brett finally does step away, they may already have their starter of the future in the former Cal QB sitting on the bench.
Which takes us back to J-Ville, the team that has been talking, quietly mind you, about Dautne since day one. Now a free man, I can see Culpepper quick to hook up with the Jags, as they would be the team most willing to give him an offer, and the team that would be willing to give him the most playing time once he proves he can take the field again at close to 100 percent.