Miami Dolphins quarterback Daunte Culpepper, who is expected to be released by the team if quarterback Trent Green is acquired from the Kansas City Chiefs, sent an e-mail to reporters who cover the team on Thursday about his health and future with the organization.
Culpepper, acquired by Miami from the Minnesota Vikings last year for a second-round pick, has had two surgeries on his right knee and missed 21 of his teams' final 25 games the past two seasons.
"There has been a lot of speculation about my status with the Dolphins so I thought it best to weigh in on the matter," Culpepper wrote.
"As it pertains to being traded or released I don't get to make that call so I will await the Dolphins' decision. I am sure that they will do what is in the best interest of the team. While those decisions are being made, I am continuing to do everything I can to prepare to play at the level of expectations of the Dolphins [if they keep me], the NFL fans and most importantly myself. Until this week it never entered my mind that I wouldn't be the starting quarterback of the Miami Dolphins this coming season."
The Dolphins have been concerned about whether Culpepper, limited to just 134 pass attempts and two touchdown passes in '06, will be able to recover after having his second surgery in December to remove scar tissue from the back of his knee cap. The first surgery was to repair three torn ligaments, a procedure which has about a 60-percent success rate for full recovery.
Culpepper said earlier this month that the second surgery would require four to six months of recovery, meaning that he might not be ready until the start of training camp. By then, Culpepper could be playing elsewhere as the Dolphins don't want him and Green on the roster at the same time because it might create a rift in the locker room.
Still, Culpepper feels good about his road to recovery.
"Last month I was encouraged about my progress as I was doing extremely well. I had spent three months working 5 days a week on my own and with the Dolphins training staff," Culpepper wrote. "My surgeon asked me not to push the process. Specifically, I have been told to begin to ease into things after May 1.
"This is the plan based on Dr. Andrew's time frame. I must say based on how I feel, I am right on schedule. It may not meet the timeframe of some people's expectations, and if not I understand. I just won't let those expectations cause me to make the same mistake again. I plan on playing at a high level for a lot longer in this league, so I want to do what is necessary to get healthy and stay healthy."