Daunte Culpepper, who was quarterback for the Vikings, Dolphins, and Raiders, has retired at the age of 31. The 11th overall pick of the 1999 NFL Draft from Ocala, Florida was not able to land a starting or backup quarterback job this offseason.
Although he got one-year offers from the Green Bay Packers and Pittsburgh Steelers to be the backup QB, he wasn’t satisfied with those offers. Culpepper blew out his knee in 2005, which damaged his career. While his knee was surgically reconstructed and healthy, Culpepper said his career was over.
Culpepper said, “After taking a long look at my career and my personal convictions, I have decided to begin early retirement from the NFL effective immediately. Since the beginning of training camp, I was told my opportunity would come when a quarterback gets hurt. I cannot remember the last time so many quarterbacks have been injured during the preseason. I have been strongly encouraged from family, friends and league personnel to continue to be patient and wait for an inevitable injury to one of the starting quarterbacks in the league. I would rather shut the door to such ‘opportunity’ than continue to wait for one of my fellow quarterbacks to suffer a serious injury. Since I was not given a fair chance to come in and compete for a job, I would rather move on and win in other arenas of life.”
Culpepper completed 1,867 of 2,927 passes for 22,422 yards and 142 touchdowns in his career, giving him a quarterback rating of 89.9. His best season was in 2004 when he threw for 4,717 yards and 39 touchdowns for Minnesota.