Daunte Culpepper, it is time, time for you to stop the whining, drop the grievance against the Miami Dolphins, and take your roll to Jacksonville. On August 11th you will have your shot to prove the Dolphins wrong when you meet in pre-season. Oh yeah, and get an agent.
Let me be your agent for a second. Daunte, you need to go to Jacksonville. Restructure. It is after-all, in your best interest.
Consider this, if you get released now, you may have a shot at picking up a 1 or 2 year deal and still have plenty of time to compete for a job with a new team, albeit it will still likely be as a backup. If you get released after the start of training camp, well, you will not compete for a 2nd spot, more likely a 3rd. Teams are going to be reluctant to shell out dough and commitment to a guy who has played only 8 games in 2 seasons.
Let us assume, and we both know what assume really means, that you get your wish and sign a free-agent 2 year deal. You will take an incentive laced contract, and move your roll out of Miami. What happens if you are walking onto the practice field at your new digs and your cleat catches in the turf and your knee doesn’t go with you? That’s right Daunte, you lose everything.
Another 2 years of rehab, a contract that will likely be terminated after the injury settlement, which will be for very little considering the contract you had to sign.
You get nothing. Let me repeat that. Pause here for effect, You….get….nothing.
Now, let’s look at what is best for you Daunte. I am after-all acting as your agent. Take the Jacksonville deal. Put down your pride, put aside your ego, and take the trade. Why? I mean you owe the Dolphins nothing right? Right. They have treated you like a pile of dirt so why not do the same, right? Right. Playing hard ball and showing them who holds the cards looks really cool? Right? Wrong.
Taking the Jaguars trade offers you security. You would sign a restructured deal that would be based off of the current contract you have now. Sure it will be less than what you are making but the parameters of that deal will be such that the new contract will be a lot better than a free agent contract where the receiving team is going to cover their…well, you know.
In all likelihood you could have the years dropped a couple, throw in an option year for you, grab a few roster incentives. Either way, you get money. You get job security, and you get to go there now, before the start of training camp, and you get to compete. For the starting job. Have you not been reading the newspapers? They don’t lie do they, I mean, they are all on your email list. The Jaguars love you. Jack Del Rio wants you, your boy Mike Tice wants you. I bet even their squad of physicians wants you.
So you have only two choices. You can go through with your grievance, hope it goes your way, which by the way, they can not force Miami to release you….in case you didn’t know, let this thing drag on for the next couple of months and hope you get your release, and then run up to Jacksonville, because you know it’s where you want to go. Or, you could take the trade, be done with it, have a decent contract for a guy coming off your injury, have the security and compete. Daunte, as your agent….take the job. Take it now, before you get into another accident and then get nothing. Man, it’s 2 hours away from Orlando…your home town. How perfect is that?
The NFLPA will do nothing to help you. Unlike Steve McNair last year, you have not been 100 percent healthy for 2 years. Steve took a trade, he did not demand a release. You are. You have nothing to gain here. Sorry, I know that is hard to understand, but it is true.
The guy in the mirror? He is giving you the wrong advice. That is your ego. Your ego is not going to pay your bills if you don’t have a job. If you sign as a free agent and get hurt, you won’t have a job for long.
So Daunte, as your agent, I say again….Stop the whining and drop the grievance, take the roll to Jacksonville…while you can.