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What Happened to Daunte Culpepper and Where is He Now?
AP Photo/Andy King

Former Minnesota Vikings quarterback Daunte Culpepper spent 11 years in the NFL.

The former football player and three-time Pro Bowl selection was a fan-favorite during his stay in Minnesota and enjoyed a memorable career.

Culpepper last played more than a decade ago, so what has the retired NFL quarterback been up to?

Daunte Culpepper’s Football Career

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Daunte Culpepper grew up in Ocala, Florida, and attended Vanguard High School before taking his talents to Central Florida. While at UCF, Culpepper threw 72 touchdowns across three seasons as the starting quarterback.

His play in college saw him get drafted as a first-round pick in the 1999 NFL Draft when the Vikings selected him 11th overall. He was the backup passer behind Jeff George and Randall Cunningham.

Culpepper was UCF’s highest-ever draft pick until Blake Bortles was selected by the Jacksonville Jaguars third overall in 2014.

In 2000, Culpepper took over the starting job and enjoyed a solid first season in the NFC, leading the Vikings to an 11-5 record and a playoff berth while making his first Pro Bowl.

Under head coach Dennis Green, Culpepper threw for a league-best 33 touchdown passes and 16 interceptions. His top two targets were future Hall of Fame wide receivers Cris Carter and Randy Moss. It’s safe to say he had some weapons at his disposal immediately upon entering the league.

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After defeating the New Orleans Saints in the Divisional Round, Culpepper and the Vikings were handed a severe loss to the New York Giants.

Culpepper’s best NFL season came in 2004 when he set the NFL’s single-season record for most total yardage produced by a quarterback with more than 5,123 yards. He led the Vikings to another playoff appearance after an 8-8 record. Still, he failed to reach the Super Bowl after losing to the Philadelphia Eagles in the Divisional Round.

During the 2006 offseason, one year after Culpepper sustained a severe knee injury against the Carolina Panthers, the quarterback left the Vikings. He joined the Miami Dolphins, where he played under future legendary Alabama head coach Nick Saban.

He played one season in Miami before latching on with the Oakland Raiders. After playing the 2007 season in Oakland, Culpepper finished his NFL career with a two-year stint as a member of the Detroit Lions. He was benched during his final season in Detroit after a poor performance during a 48-3 beatdown by the Baltimore Ravens.

After his tenure in Detroit, Culpepper worked out with various teams, including the Green Bay Packers and Pittsburgh Steelers, but never signed another NFL contract.

Instead, in 2010, Culpepper signed a contract with the Sacramento Mountain Lions of the United Football League. He spent one year in the UFL before retiring from professional football.

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Daunte Culpepper Now

Life after football hasn’t been as easy for Culpepper. In 2013 he opened a UCF-themed sports bar near the campus. However, that venture only lasted one year.

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That same year, Culpepper lost his home in Florida as financial issues continued to mount, according to ESPN.

Despite having earned nearly $35 million during his NFL career, the former quarterback is reported to have an estimated net worth of just $500,000.

These days, Culpepper stays out of the spotlight, but will still make public appearances from time to time.

MORE: Randy Moss Split From His High School Sweetheart, But Found Love Again

Karl Rasmussen is a sports writer living in Brooklyn, NY. He studied journalism at the University of Oregon and is an avid fan of the Oregon Ducks, Portland Trail Blazers, New York Yankees and New York Jets.
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