What Is Daunte Culpepper’s Net Worth?
Daunte Culpepper is a retired American professional football quarterback who has a net worth of $500 thousand. As we detail in subsequent sections below, despite earning $35 million in NFL salary during his career, just a year after retiring Daunte was experiencing some serious financial problems, even losing a home to foreclosure.
Though Daunte Culpepper was drafted by the New York Yankees in the 1995 Major League Baseball Draft, he chose not to sign with the team. He then played football at the University of Central Florida, where he broke most of the school’s quarterback records, around 30 total. Culpepper was drafted with the 11th overall pick in the first round of the 1999 NFL Draft by the Minnesota Vikings.
A three-time Pro Bowl selection with the Vikings, Daunte had a historic 2004 season in which he set a single-season record, since broken, for the most total yardage produced by a quarterback in NFL history (5,123). However, Culpepper seriously injured his knee the following season, ending his career with the Vikings. After that, he played sparingly for the NFL teams the Oakland Raiders, Miami Dolphins, and Detroit Lions. Culpepper ranks 14th all-time in NFL career passer rating (87.8) and holds the seventh best single-season passer rating from his 2004 season (110.9). Daunte last played for the United Football League (UFL) team the Sacramento Mountain Lions. In 2012, “Football Nation” ranked him #45 on its list of the “Top 100 Modern Quarterbacks.”
During his 11 seasons in the NFL, Daunte Culpepper earned $35 million in salary. His highest-paid season was 2005, when he earned $9 million from the Vikings.
At the end of the 2002 season, Daunte signed a 10-year contract with the Vikings that could have ultimately been worth $102 million. Daunte only appears to have earned around $20 million from that contract after injuring himself in 2005 and then being offloaded to the Dolphins in 2006
In 2006 Daunte paid $3.67 million for a 9,800 square foot mansion in Florida. He financed the purchase with a $2.93 million mortgage. In February 2013, Sun Trust Bank foreclosed on the mansion. A $3 million debt was forgiven after Daunte surrendered the home a few months later.
In January 2013 Daunte paid $450 thousand for a home in Ocala, Florida. This home appears to still be his primary residence today.
Daunte Culpepper was born Daunte Rachard Culpepper on January 28, 1977, in Ocala, Florida. His biological mother is Barbara Henderson, whose brother is Thomas “Hollywood” Henderson, a former NFL linebacker who played for the Dallas Cowboys, Houston Oilers, San Francisco 49ers, and Miami Dolphins. Barbara was serving time in prison for armed robbery while she was pregnant with Daunte. When he was one day old, Culpepper was adopted by Emma Lewis Culpepper, who raised more than 15 children and worked at the correctional facility where Barbara was being held. Daunte played football, baseball, and basketball at Vanguard High School, and he was named Florida’s Mr. Football in 1994 after the end of his senior season. In 2007, he was selected to the Florida High School Athletic Association’s All-Century Team, which listed the 33 best high school football players in the state’s history. In the 1995 Major League Baseball Draft, Culpepper was drafted by the New York Yankees (730th overall), but he decided to attend college instead.
Due to low SAT scores, Daunte had a hard time getting into college, but after the University of Central Florida (UCF) offered him tutoring, he was able to achieve the scores he needed to qualify. Bigger college programs then tried to recruit him, but he chose UCF out of loyalty. Culpepper broke approximately 30 of UCF’s quarterback records during his time at the school, and he broke a 15-year-old NCAA record with a 73.6% single-season completion percentage. He also achieved a feat that had only happened twice before in the NCAA when he topped both the 1,000-yard rushing mark and 10,000-yard passing mark. When Daunte finished his college career, he was ranked sixth on the NCAA all-time total offense list with more than 12,000 yards and was responsible for over 100 touchdowns. After his junior year, he was encouraged to enter the NFL draft, but he decided to finish his senior year at UCF instead. That season the team had a 9–2 record.
During the 1999 NFL Draft, Culpepper was chosen by the Minnesota Vikings in the first round (the 11th overall pick). During his first year with the team, he played in just one game, and he rushed three times for six yards. He was named starting quarterback in 2000, and the team subsequently won the season’s first seven games. The Vikings ended the season with an 11–5 record, and they made it to the NFC Championship, where the New York Giants defeated them 41–0. During that season, Daunte passed for more than 3,900 yards and 33 touchdowns, resulting in him being selected for the Pro Bowl. He struggled during the 2001 and 2002 seasons, and the team finished the 2001 season with a 5–11 record. Culpepper started in 11 games and completed at least 60% of his passes in nine of those games, but he had to miss the last five games of the season due to a knee injury. He was ranked third among quarterbacks for rushing total, behind Kordell Stewart of the Pittsburgh Steelers and Donovan McNabb of the Philadelphia Eagles. During the 2002 season, Daunte threw 18 touchdowns, and the team finished with a 6–10 record. His rushing record was the highest of all quarterbacks in the NFL and the sixth-highest by an NFL quarterback in history. That year he also graced the cover of the video game “Madden NFL 2002,” and during the 2003 offseason, he won the EA Sports Madden Bowl title.
In 2003, Culpepper led the team to a 9–7 record, passed for 25 touchdowns and nearly 3,500 yards, and was selected for the Pro Bowl again. In 2004, he had his best NFL season, leading the league with 4,717 passing yards. His 39 touchdowns were a Vikings record, and the team made it to the playoffs that season. Daunte was also named to the Pro Bowl again. He broke Dan Marino’s combined passing and rushing yards record, with 5,123 total yards. Between 2000 and 2004, Culpepper rushed 2,323 yards, making him the fourth NFL quarterback to surpass 2,300 rushing yards in a five-season period. His career rushing average was 26.1 yards per game, the fourth-best average among NFL quarterbacks. During the 2005 season, Daunte injured his knee during an October game against the Carolina Panthers, damaging three ligaments, and he was placed on the injured reserve list. In December 2005, he was charged with disorderly conduct, indecent conduct, and lewd or lascivious conduct (along with three other players) for his involvement in what became known as the “Minnesota Vikings boat cruise scandal.” The charges were dropped in April 2006.
After Culpepper expressed a desire to leave Minnesota, he was traded to the Miami Dolphins. In November 2006, he had arthroscopic surgery to move loose cartilage from his previously injured knee, and he was placed on injured reserve. Daunte asked to be released from his contract in June 2007, and the following month he signed a one-year deal with the Oakland Raiders. He injured his quadriceps around Week 13 of the season and was placed on injured reserve again. He announced his retirement in September 2008, but he signed a two-year deal with the Detroit Lions a few months later. Culpepper injured his shoulder after four games, and the team didn’t win any games that season. In June 2010, he signed with the United Football League team the Sacramento Mountain Lions, and he was named UFL Offensive Player of the Week twice that season. Daunte was placed on the protected players’ list in April 2011, and in August it was announced that he had been working out for the San Francisco 49ers. However, the 49ers decided to sign Josh McCown instead.
Daunte married his high school sweetheart Kimberly Rah on July 6, 2002. The couple has welcomed four children together.
Awards and Honors
In 2001, Culpepper received the Ed Block Courage Award and Best Breakthrough Athlete ESPY Award. In 2003, he won the Extra Effort Award, and he received the Korey Stringer Good Guy Award in 2003 and 2004. Daunte was named Week 4 AFC Offensive Player of the Week in 2007 and Week 2 United Football League Offensive Co-Player of the Week and Week 7 United Football League Offensive Player of the Week in 2010.