Culpepper to restructure deal with Vikings

Posted: Monday, August 08, 2005

Daunte Culpepper and the Minnesota Vikings reached an agreement on Sunday to restructure the quarterback's contract, giving the three-time Pro Bowl selection an unspecified raise.

Rob Brzezinski, the team's vice president for football operations, said the deal — given the blessing of new owner Zygi Wilf — has been in the works since January.

Brzezinski didn't divulge financial terms, other than to confirm that Culpepper was getting an increase from the framework of the 10-year, $102 million extension he signed in May 2003. Culpepper's agent, Mason Ashe, also declined to specify — but said the raise was in the form of both bonuses and annual salary increases.

Culpepper's 2005 salary, according to the NFL Players Association's Web site, would have been $540,000. That's sure to go up substantially.

''He's a premier player in this league, and we felt like his contract needed an adjustment to reflect that,'' Brzezinski said. ''Zygi stepped up, like he's done with everything else.''

Players were unavailable for comment on Sunday, their first day off since training camp began last week. The Vikings were to resume practice in Mankato, Minn., on Monday morning.

Eagles

Wide receiver Terrell Owens returned to practice with Philadelphia after missing the last two days with inflammation in his left groin.

Owens participated in both the morning and afternoon sessions. After wearing full pads for the morning practice, players wore shells and shorts during a brief afternoon workout.

The five-time Pro Bowl selection was scheduled to sign autographs with the rest of the wide receivers after the morning practice, but was a no-show. The team said he was receiving treatment.

Beginning the second year of a seven-year deal worth just under $49 million, the disgruntled Owens is still hoping the Eagles will redo his contract.

Owens left practice Thursday morning and did not return for the afternoon session. Coach Andy Reid dismissed any suggestion that the injury might not be genuine, calling it a chronic condition.

Redskins

Wide receiver Taylor Jacobs will be sidelined at least a week with a sprained big left toe.

Jacobs was injured during Washington's scrimmage against Baltimore on Saturday. An MRI revealed moderate swelling but nothing more serious than a sprain.

A second-round draft pick in 2003, Jacobs is vying for the No. 3 receiver spot behind Santana Moss and David Patten. Jacobs also missed a day of practice last week because of heat-related symptoms.

Panthers

Tight end Freddie Jones retired, ending his eight-year career just four months after signing a free agent contract with Carolina.

Jones had 404 receptions over five seasons in San Diego and three in Arizona. His offensive attributes were not a great fit with the Panthers, who use their tight ends primarily for blocking.

''It was in the best interest of my family that I conclude my career at this time,'' Jones said. ''I appreciate the Panthers signing me. It's a top-notch organization and I'm glad I got a chance to experience it before I retired.''

Cowboys

Dallas signed kicker Jose Cortez after a workout on Saturday and waived injured kicker Brett Visintainer.

Cortez spent the past two seasons with Minnesota, appearing in 10 games and only handling kickoffs. He hasn't attempted a field goal since 2002 with Washington.

Buccaneers

Tampa Bay signed tackle Todd Steussie less than two weeks after releasing him.

The Bucs released Steussie on July 28. Last season, he started five times in 16 games for the Bucs. He has also played for the Minnesota Vikings and Carolina Panthers, totaling 175 career games with 164 starts.

The team also released wide receiver Adrian Madise, who had been signed as a free agent in January. He also spent a week on the Bucs' active roster before he was released in October 2004. Chiefs

RIVER FALLS, Wis. (AP) — Kansas City Chiefs All-Pro tight end Tony Gonzalez was at practice Sunday night after X-rays on his injured left foot showed no broken bones.

Gonzalez had surgery on the same foot in the offseason and is being limited to one practice a day during training camp. He was injured during a 1-on-1 drill Saturday night. He came out halfway through Sunday night's practice and caught passes on the sidelines.

Coach Dick Vermeil had scheduled a full workout in pads, but changed the format to shorts and helmets after a recent spate of injuries.

Running back Priest Holmes sat out the practice after being kicked while being tackled in Saturday night's practice. He would return to workouts Monday morning, Vermeil said.

Tight end Kris Wilson remained sidelined with a groin injury.

Packers

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — Packers Pro Bowl receiver Javon Walker injured his left hamstring Sunday night and was held out the rest of the practice.

''I felt something pull when I was running,'' Walker said, adding that he didn't consider it to be serious.

Mark Roman and rookie Nick Collins, working as the starting safeties, collided hard as they defended a pass play over the middle during the 75-minute practice.

Both players stayed on the ground for a few minutes before walking off under their own power. A visibly shaken Roman wore an ice pack on the back of his neck. The extent of the injuries for either player wasn't known.

Walker's injury occurred two plays into the first 11-on-11 segment of the evening practice on a deep throw by Brett Favre. Walker came off the field gingerly and a trainer then took him inside an adjacent building where he had the back of his upper left leg heavily wrapped with ice.



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