Daunte Culpepper Retires, Finds Bowl of Sour Grapes

Dude. He emailed Adam Schefter. I hope he had a box of Kleenex nearby to catch those tears. Wait- of course he had a box of Kleenex near the computer- he's been off work!

From The Sporting News:

This is just kind of depressing. Daunte Culpepper, who four short years ago was throwing for 4,000+ yards and 39 touchdowns, has retired. That’s sad, and expected, but it’s not the depressing part. This is: He announced his retirement via an email to NFL Network’s Adam Schefter.

Since I do not have a team where I can do a press conference, I chose to write what I would have said. You are the first to get this.
– Daunte

I’m picturing Daunte attempting to type those two sentences with highlights of his Minnesota glory days playing on the TV in the background and tears dripping onto the keyboard. But hey, at least he’s not bitter or anything, as these excerpts from the rest of his e-mail show:

When free agency began this year, I had a new sense of excitement about continuing to rebuild my career in the same way that I had rebuilt my knee after my catastrophic injury in 2005. Unfortunately, what I found out was that the league did not share any of the optimism about me as an Unrestricted Free Agent that I expected. … No matter what I did or said, there seemed to be a unified message from teams that I was not welcome to compete for one of the many jobs that were available at the quarterback position.

I would rather shut the door to such “opportunity” than continue to wait for one of my fellow quarterback’s 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.

So ends Daunte’s spectacularly hard fall from one of the game's elite -- if not best -- quarterbacks, to early retirement. And I mean, seriously early: He is only 31 years-old. But who knows; every QB in the league is always one play away from that “serious injury.” If a team’s one-through-third string QBs all go down ... and their emergency QB -- probably the punter or some fourth-string wide receiver -- gets hurt ... and Jeff George can’t be reached, then Duante’s phone will totally be blowin’ up.

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