Daunte's Departure

- Wade

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I'll leave it to wadE for a more in-depth analysis on the Daunte Culpepper trade yesterday, given that he's more of a football wonk than I. I've got a few reactions, which I'll share below. But first:

Is it just me, or does this remind you of when Homer Simpson is wearing his half-moon reading glasses?

Okay, maybe it's just me. On to our previously mentioned topic.

Yesterday, in a move everyone saw coming, the Vikings traded Daunte to the Miami Dolphins for a second-round draft pick. The 'fins, apparently tired of another Vikings retread, were willing to take the gamble that Culpepper's ACL, MCL, PCL, LCL, QCL, and ruptured appendix will all heal nicely and he'll return to the standards that he set in the early years of this decade.

My thoughts? Don't bet on it.

He's an amazing athlete, no doubt. His combination of arm strength, speed, and, well, width are rarely seen. But, as seen in his tenure without Randy Moss last season, he needs another spectacular teammate to take some of the pressure off; otherwise, interceptions and fumbles rule the day. Please don't confuse me with Al Campanis or Herb from Iowa, calling into KFAN to say that Daunte lacks the mental skills necessary to being a field general. (Whatever a field general is.) Instead, he has proven that he needs confidence in a couple of things to perform: a) a strong offensive line, and 2) a big-time receiver that will do whatever is necessary to catch the ball.

The Dolphins seem to have a slightly better O-line, but not much: 49 sacks allowed in 2005, vs. 54 for the purple. The question becomes the tenacity of Miami's only big-time receiver, Chris Chambers. Granted, he's better than Nate Burleson, Travis Taylor, and Marcus Robinson. But will Chambers make the leaps that Moss used to make, take the hits that Moss (and Cris Carter) used to take to get the football? Time will tell.

Incidentally, I also don't think Brad Johnson is the answer to the team's quarterbacking question, even in the short-term. I expect that the team will package draft picks (and, potentially, players) to move up to take Vandy's Jay Cutler next month.

Oh, and speaking of: don't stare directly into the hair.

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