Culpepper changes mind; asks for release from Dolphins

Updated: June 8, 2007, 1:57 AM ET
By John Clayton | ESPN.com

Miami Dolphins quarterback Daunte Culpepper, who initially wanted to stay and compete against new quarterback Trent Green, has asked for his release.

The release is something that should happen very soon.

Culpepper, giving a clean bill of health this week by Dr. James Andrews, initially welcomed the competition of Green when the Dolphins traded a conditional fifth-round choice to acquire him. After a couple days of being told the team was going a different direction at quarterback, he has asked for his release.

"I want to take this opportunity to give an update on my status with the Miami Dolphins," Culpepper said in a statement Thursday. "After hearing public comments from Coach Cameron and Randy Mueller Wednesday, I have decided to aggressively ask to be released. I have written a letter to Randy Mueller and Coach Cameron to that effect and delivered it to them this morning before doing my workout."

The Dolphins have told Culpepper they weren't going to hold him hostage. Though they are trying to shop him in a trade for a low-round draft choice, they will probably cut him before their weekend mincamp. Culpepper has been willing to continue practice and could show up to try to practice with the team over the weekend.

The Dolphins probably won't risk the chance Culpepper, who is scheduled to make $5.5 million, could get injury. They can minimize the risk by cutting him.

"I feel 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 in a statement. "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. 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 years NFL Draft. At that time it became obvious to me that my desire to compete would not trump established relationships."

The Baltimore Ravens may head a list of a few teams that could be interested in signing him once he's on the free agent market.

John Clayton is a senior writer for ESPN.com.

John Clayton

NFL senior writer

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