Daunte: Redux

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"With the 11th pick in the 1999 NFL Draft, the Minnesota Vikings select Daunte Culpepper from Central Florida."

Six years and nearly 11 months later, Daunte was traded to the Miami Dolphins for a second round pick in the 2007 draft. Seems like 10 cents on the dollar, doesn't it? But when you are looking to trade a guy with a huge contract and coming off of a horrific injury, you're lucky to get those 10 cents.

Just like last year with the trade of Randy Moss, I have mixed feelings on this. Although I support this move much less than the trade of Randy. A quality QB is hard to come by in the NFL. A wide receiver (not even Jerry Rice) can affect a teams fortune (or famine) like a quarterback can. The question is whether Daunte would be a quality QB.

That's where the mixed feelings come in. Daunte has had flashes of brilliance, and flashes of Steve DeBerg. We'll find out in 6 months where he is at and if the Vikings made the right choice.

Although Brad Johnson played within himself last year, he didn't show me he can still be a quality QB. Along with the free agency moves, I'm not thrilled with this off-season... it's left me agreeing with Strib columnist Patrick Reusse again, and I hate to agree with him:

The Vikings already have spent a hunk of cash in free agency, with a minimal impact: a placekicker marginally better than the incumbent, a backup running back to join other backups and a linebacker with a bad foot.

The Vikings do have a chance to get something significant out of this early shopping spree, if Seattle chooses not to match the gigantic offer to guard Steve Hutchinson. Put Hutchinson between left tackle Bryant McKinnie and a healthy center in Matt Birk, and there will be impressive blocking power inside those purple pants.

If Seattle matches?

The Vikings will have added little, and done so while giving away a quarterback who has not played in his last Pro Bowl.

(NOTE: I am writing this prior to the Hutchinson decision, which looks like it could go bad for the Vikes... those sneaky Seattle bastards!!!)

At any rate, as the resident SP NFL wonk... I don't know what to think. If Daunte isn't healthy or at least as good physically as he was before then it's a good move. If he is 100%, then I have to wonder if the Vikings looked at him when he struggled. When things weren't going well, Daunte crumbled. He has been somewhat reminiscent of Reggie Jackson. Reggie was always good for a 2 or 3 home run game when the score was 11-4, but in a 2-1 ballgame he rarely delivered. Daunte has been the same way. When his teammates were hitting on all cylinders he thrived, but when he had to carry the team, he struggled.

Only time will tell...


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