Culpepper was a standout with the Minnesota Vikings before a devastating knee injury in 2005 derailed his career. He also played for the Miami Dolphins, Oakland Raiders and Detroit Lions during his career. Culpepper played a total of 10 NFL seasons and was runner-up to Peyton Manning in the 2004 NFL MVP race.
When healthy, Culpepper was a rare combination of size, speed and strength. He was at times, one of the best quarterbacks in the game. At other times, his inconsistency frustrated Vikings fans. At his best, Culpepper could easily throw a long bomb to Randy Moss, forming one of the league’s most potent passing/receiving threats. He could also scramble his way out of the toughest situations and was among the best rushing quarterbacks in the league in his prime. He did what players like Colin Kaepernick and Russell Wilson are doing now and before it was the trend in the NFL to have a dual-threat quarterback. At other times, Culpepper seemed to lack confidence, made questionable decisions and tried to do too much in pressure situations.
Culpepper received a $16 million signing bonus in 2003 as part of a 10-year $102 million deal with the Vikings. He never played out that contract with the Vikings and was traded to the Dolphins before the 2006 season mostly because he drew the ire of Vikings head coach Brad Childress when he chose to rehab his gruesome knee injury in a workout facility in a Florida strip mall, instead of at the team facility. Childress grew frustrated with Culpepper, resulting in the trade to Miami. As part of that trade Culpepper received a $7 million signing bonus.
Culpepper completed his career with Detroit in 2010.
Culpepper was a popular player with the Vikings and with the fans. He was known for being a good guy and a good teammate and was active in the community. Unfortunately now, he's facing financial woes that many pro athletes once their playing days are over.