Vikings owner says Culpepper to receive roster bonus

Daunte Culpepper's future as the Minnesota Vikings' starting quarterback appears safe -- in the short term at least.

Vikings owner Zygi Wilf told reporters Saturday at the NFL scouting combine that the team planned to pay Culpepper a $6 million roster bonus he is scheduled to receive March 17, the Star Tribune and Pioneer Press both reported.

When he was asked if Culpepper figures in the team's 2006 plans, Wilf said "That is our plan, yes. Always was."

In a statement to the media last week, Culpepper mentioned that he offered to move his
$6 million roster bonus, which is set to be paid on March 17, to
another date to help the Vikings sign more free agents under the
salary cap -- though the team is projected to have plenty of room.

Culpepper wrote that he was assured by Wilf in a phone conversation earlier this week the Vikings have
"not yet spoken to other teams about trading" him.

On Friday, new Vikings coach Brad Childress tried to downplay trade speculation about Culpepper, saying the quarterback figures into his plans.

"That's the mindset," Childress said Friday at the NFL
scouting combine in Indianapolis. "I don't know anything to the

The injured quarterback, who tore three ligaments in his right
knee in an Oct. 30 game and has been rehabilitating in his native
Florida, also said he told Wilf he wasn't happy with what he's been
reading in the news -- and what he hasn't been hearing from the

"I shared my disappointment with the lack of communication and
the false reports about me demanding more money coming out of
Minnesota," said Culpepper, who let go of his agent last month and
has been representing himself.

Childress acknowledged that the team has had inquiries about
Culpepper, with the free agent and trading period set to begin next

"That's what goes on this time of year," he said.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.