Why did the Vikings trade Daunte Culpepper to the Dolphins?

(Photo by Doug Benc/Getty Images) Daunte Culpepper
(Photo by Doug Benc/Getty Images) Daunte Culpepper /

Back in 2006, the Minnesota Vikings made the decision to trade their franchise quarterback, Daunte Culpepper, to the Miami Dolphins.

On Wednesday, March 15 in 2006, the Miami Dolphins held a press conference to announce a trade that resulted in them acquiring Pro Bowl quarterback Daunte Culpepper from the Minnesota Vikings.

For the Dolphins, dealing for Culpepper ended up being the path they took after they were unable to work out a contract with free-agent quarterback Drew Brees.

But Miami still felt they had landed one of the NFL’s premier passers at the time. Culpepper was coming off of a serious knee injury, but he wasn’t that far removed from a 2004 season where he threw 39 touchdowns and more than 4,700 yards.

How did the Minnesota Vikings wind up sending Daunte Culpepper to the Miami Dolphins?

During the 2006 offseason, the Vikings moved on from Mike Tice as their head coach, and they hired Brad Childress as his replacement.

Coming from the Philadelphia Eagles, where he had worked well with Donovan McNabb, some believed that Childress was going to be great for Culpepper moving forward. Minnesota’s new head coach even talked glowingly during his introductory press conference about the opportunity to work with the team’s veteran quarterback.

However, this potential partnership wound up crumbling before it ever had a chance to form.

Despite signing a 10-year extension worth $102 million in 2003, Culpepper was reportedly looking for a boost in his pay from the Vikings during the 2006 offseason according to the Washington Post’s Mark Maske. Most struggled to understand the quarterback’s logic behind his desires considering he was coming off a 2005 campaign that was cut short by a serious knee injury.

Instead of giving Culpepper a raise, Childress and Minnesota opted to just start over at the quarterback position, and they sent the veteran signal-caller packing to Miami.

Following the trade with the Dolphins, Childress had this to say about Culpepper according to the Star Tribune.

"“Somewhere there is a buy-in factor. I just didn’t think that was the case. Right from the beginning. As I mentioned I never had a conversation with him about this football team. It was always about what he needed financially and money. I never heard team, I always heard me and I, and ‘I need $10 million. I’m a $10 million-dollar-a-year quarterback.'”"

Looking back at the deal, it turned out to be a good decision by the Vikings since Culpepper was never the same quarterback after the knee injury he suffered in 2005.

With the Dolphins in 2006, Culpepper only ended up appearing in four games, and he was released before the start of the 2007 season. The former Minnesota quarterback landed with the Oakland Raiders after his departure from Miami, and he started seven games for the silver and black in 2007.

Culpepper only lasted two more seasons in the NFL (both with the Detroit Lions) before his time in the league came to a close. In his four years in the NFL that weren’t spent with the Vikings, the veteran quarterback won a grand total of three games.

Meanwhile, Childress helped lead Minnesota to a pair of NFC North titles and an appearance in the NFC Championship in those first four seasons after Culpepper’s departure.

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