Vikings’ Culpepper Signs Extension for $102 Million

From Staff and Wire Reports

Daunte Culpepper signed a $102-million contract extension with the Minnesota Vikings on Friday, becoming one of the NFL’s highest-paid players.

The 10-year deal includes a $16-million signing bonus. The 26-year-old quarterback had one year left on the deal he signed after the Vikings drafted him with the 11th overall pick out of Central Florida in 1999.

The total potential value would be the third highest in NFL history behind Philadelphia quarterback Donovan McNabb ($115 million) and Buffalo quarterback Drew Bledsoe ($103 million).

“Now we can move forward,” Culpepper said. “I’m glad it got done today.... I feel in my heart that we have the team that can win a championship.”


Culpepper threw for 3,853 yards and 17 touchdowns last season but had 23 interceptions.


Nick Price shot a one-under-par 71, including a 40-foot birdie putt on the par-three 17th, to stay in the lead at seven-under 137 by one stroke over Fred Couples and J.P. Hayes in the Wachovia Championship at Charlotte, N.C.

Mike Weir, playing for the first time since winning the Masters, shot a 70 and was at 142, five strokes out of the lead.


Rosie Jones shot a 68 for a two-round total of 10-under 134 to take the lead in the Asahi Ryokuken International at North Augusta, S.C.... Joe Inman shot a seven-under 65 for a one-stroke lead over Tom Watson after the first round of the Kinko’s Classic Champions Tour event at Austin, Texas.


Andre Agassi withdrew from next week’s Hamburg Masters Series.

“I am very disappointed that Agassi is not coming, although he had given us a written pledge,” tournament director Walter Knapper said.


Jennifer Capriati and Kim Clijsters both won in straight sets to reach the German Open semifinals at Berlin and set up a rematch of the 2001 French Open championship match. The fourth-seeded Capriati beat Elena Likhovtseva, 6-3, 6-3, and the top-seeded Clijsters handled Daniela Hantuchova, 6-0, 6-3.... Roger Federer beat Filippo Volandri, 6-3, 5-7, 6-2, at Rome to prevent the wild-card entry from giving the host country its first Italian Open semifinalist in 25 years. Federer next plays Juan Carlos Ferrero, a 6-4, 6-4 winner over Rainer Schuettler.


Dany Heatley scored three goals to lead Canada over the Czech Republic, 8-4, putting the Olympic champions in the final of the World Hockey Championships at Helsinki, Finland. Canada next faces Sweden, which beat defending champion Slovakia, 4-1.

Alex Zanardi, who lost both of his legs in a horrific crash 20 months ago, returned to the site of the accident when he raced 10 practice laps at EuroSpeedway in Klettwitz, Germany.


Zanardi, competing in a modified Mi-Jack Conquest Racing car, had a fast lap of 192 mph. Zanardi plans to race 13 laps on Sunday to “finish” the race he never did on Sept. 15, 2001. CART reportedly is paying him about $50,000, which will go to the Alex Zanardi Foundation.

Lennox Lewis got a court order that keeps Mike Tyson and promoter Don King from settling any money disputes without telling Lewis in advance. The same temporary restraining order, obtained by Lewis’ lawyer Judd Burstein, also directs television networks Showtime and HBO to withhold all money due to King in connection with his sponsorship of past fights.

The second of three consecutive boxing Saturdays on NBC will be held today, highlighted by a 10-round main event from the Pechanga Resort in Temecula matching lightweights Juan Diaz (20-0, 10 knockouts) and Eleazar Contreras (19-2-2, 8). Welterweights Francisco “Panchito” Bojado (11-1, 10) and William Adamyan (9-0, 3) are featured on the undercard.

Spalding University’s Jake Ford set an NAIA record by hitting five home runs in an 18-4 win over Tennessee Wesleyan in an NAIA tournament game at Louisville, Ky.



Sam Lacy, sports editor of The (Baltimore) Afro-American Newspaper since 1944 and a key figure in the integration of Major League Baseball, has died. He was 99. Lacy died Thursday at the Washington Hospital Center, chief executive and publisher Jake Oliver said. Story, Section B.

Dottie Ferguson Key, who played for 10 seasons with the Rockford Peaches in the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League, has died. She was 80. Key died Thursday at the home of daughter Dona Ericksen. She said her mother had cancer. Story, Section B.