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Culpepper asks Dolphins to release him
NFL.com wire reports


MIAMI (jUNE 7, 2007) -- Daunte Culpepper wants to choose his next team, so he's asked the Miami Dolphins to release him.

Culpepper, who serves as his own agent, made the request -- one day after the Dolphins completed a trade with the Kansas City Chiefs for quarterback Trent Green and told Culpepper they would try to trade him.

"I must say the impatience the organization displayed in both encouraging me to rush back on the field last year and then rushing me out the door this year is disappointing," Culpepper said. "However, I understand that they have the right to make that business decision. It is now my turn to make some decisions."

Dolphins coach Cam Cameron has indicated he wants to have some resolution to the Culpepper situation by Friday, when the team opens a three-day minicamp. Green, the presumed starter in Miami this season, will be there -- and Culpepper said he'll also be on the field if he's not released first.

Culpepper had a major right knee injury in 2005, yet the Dolphins still sent a second-round pick to the Minnesota Vikings for him before the 2006 season. Culpepper started the first four games last season, before the team shut him down because of problems with the knee, and he's been largely unable to compete in practices so far this offseason.

But the three-time Pro Bowl quarterback obtained clearance from orthopedic surgeon Dr. James Andrews to resume football activity on Monday, and Dolphins' team physicians followed suit on Tuesday -- while the team was nearing a deal with Kansas City for Green, who was the starter there for most of the past six seasons.

"It is necessary to obtain a release rather than seek a trade so that I would not bring the excess baggage of my present contract to a new team," Culpepper said. "I feel like my next team should have the opportunity to get to know me as a man and a player before they make any long-term commitment."

In 84 games over parts of the past seven NFL seasons, Culpepper has completed 64 percent of his passes for 21,091 yards and 137 touchdowns with 89 interceptions.

The Dolphins had no intentions to keep both Green and Culpepper. They re-signed backup Cleo Lemon to a one-year deal earlier this offseason, and chose Brigham Young quarterback John Beck in the second round of this year's draft after passing on Notre Dame's Brady Quinn with the ninth overall pick.

Miami and Kansas City talked for weeks about a trade involving Green. The Dolphins offered a sixth-round pick before the NFL Draft, the Chiefs insisted on a fourth-round selection, and the sides ultimately agreed on a fifth-rounder in 2008's draft -- which could become a fourth-round choice depending on how Green fares in Miami this season.

When the trade finally became final, Culpepper said he'd welcome being part of an open competition for the job in Miami, yet said Thursday that he suspected that wouldn't happen.

"Even though it is frustrating, I had prepared myself for the possibility that I would not be given an opportunity to compete here since the week before this year's NFL Draft," Culpepper said. "At that time it became obvious to me that my desire to compete would not trump established relationships."

 
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