Vikings owner says Culpepper to receive roster bonus
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 contrary."
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 club.
"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 weekend.
"That's what goes on this time of year," he said.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.
MORE NFL HEADLINES
- Jerry backs Romo: We have to 'take risks'
- Sources: Flacco will not undergo MRI on knee
- 49ers' fans plan billboard to mock Seattle
- Official: Hit on Bengals punter was illegal