The fall of Duante Culpepper

Here we are about to kick of the 2008 NFL football season and quarterback Duante Culpeppper is without a team.  Duante has been allowed to plead his case at  In his plea, he indicates he was been told that he has been unable to be signed because he is representing himself and teams are only willing to offer him veterans minimum.  Duante doesn’t want to accept either fact judging by the content of his plea.  He also bemoans the fact that he now has to wait for a starter somewhere to get injured before any chance of signing with a team. 

     The point of this article is to look at how Duante got to this point. The start goes to the events of the 2005 season.  He started off the year requesting a contract extension. New Vikings owner Zygi Wilf agreed to an extension and worked with his agent on a 10 year 100 million dollar contract extention.  Duante was now the man for the Minnesota Vikings after Randy Moss had been trade away during the 2004 season.  During the 2005 season, Duante suffered a catostrophic knee injury to his Anterior and Posterior Cruciate ligaments.  At the end of the 2005 season, coach Mice Tice was fired and coach Brad Culpepper was hired. Duante apparently became upset that there were no guaruntees to him in his ten year contract. He subsequently fired his agent and began an acrimonious relationship with the Minnesota Vikings the intent of which was to get traded.

     He was eventually traded to the Miami Dolphins, who chose him over Drew Brees.  Beyond expections, Duante started for Miami that year, but did so highly ineffectively and played only 4 games.  He signed with the Oakland Raiders last year, started 6 games to average results and not resigned. 

     So what are the factors leading Duante Culpepper to be an unsigned quarterback.  The biggest issue is see is pride. He expects the teams to negotiate on his terms and seems unwilling to do what he needs to do to prove himself by taking a Veteran’s minimum salary contract.  He is unwilling to accept the current NFL salary structure and has shown little flexability.  His performance levels since his injury have not matched his on field performance, which shows he has lost what was a previous strenght, his mobility.  So the fall of Duante comes down to unmet expectations and being inflexible and unwilling to due what it takes to regain trust and prove himself. 

    Now we can learn some lessons from Duante.  When things unexpected happen we need to learn to find ways to abapt and be flexible. Things do not always work out like we expect. If one becomes rigid in demands or expectations we can end up with nothing.  It also is helpful to know exactly what you agree to when making important decisions.  Many people have been hurt by simply trusting others who in turn may be looking out for their interests over and above your own. 

    Christianity also adds a perspective, we need to focus on today and what God has for us. We need not get caught up in putting off what God asks of us, because we never know what tomorrow brings. This is clearly spelled out in James 4:13-17 (NIV) 13 Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.” 14 Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. 15 Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.” 16 As it is, you boast and brag. All such boasting is evil. 17 Anyone, then, who knows the good he ought to do and doesn’t do it, sins.

     Another important concept is the Biblical concept of contentment.  We have great difficulty sometimes being content with where we are in life, and can often fall into the temptation to seek after more.  We forget the admonition in 1 Timothy 1: 6,7 (NIV) 6 But godliness with contentment is great gain. 7 For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. We tend to often operate from chronic discontentment.  If we have to  little, we complain and focus on what we don’t have, if we have a lot, we tend to want more. The key to contentment is surrender to and dependence on the King of Kings as highlighted in Philippians 2:11-13 (NIV) 11 I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. 12 I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. 13 I can do everything through Him who gives me strength. The everything that consists of contentment is dependent not on our strength, but the strengt God gives to us.  God gives us the ability to accept our situation. Now granted, being content does not mean not having goals and not acting on them, it means to stayed surrendered to Him, that even in the completion or failure of goals, we can be content. And when we are surrender to the King of Kings, our goals are His goals and building His kingdom, and when self is out of the way, there is no need for discontent.      So the fall of Duante and how he got to be where he is today gives us reason to examine self and see if we have unrealistic expections, to see if we are rigid and inflexible, to see if we are looking for more and not content and goals focus on self-expansion versus surrender to the King of Kings. Duante, like many of us, shows an inability to surrender due to having an intecessor fail him.  In Christianity, we view Jesus as our intercessor, and agent.  When we try and do things on our own, we fail even our own expectation. 


3 Responses

  1. And now he has officially retired from the NFL

  2. Well he is now back in NFL and signed with Detroit. I wish him well.

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