Daunte Culpepper and the Minnesota Vikings reached an agreement on Sunday to restructure the quarterback’s contract, giving the three-time Pro Bowl selection an unspecified raise.

Rob Brzezinski, the team’s vice president for football operations, said the deal – given the blessing of new owner Zygi Wilf – has been in the works since January.

Brzezinski didn’t divulge financial terms, other than to confirm that Culpepper was getting an increase from the framework of the 10-year, $102 million extension he signed in May 2003. Culpepper’s agent, Mason Ashe, also declined to specify – but said the raise was in the form of both bonuses and annual salary increases.

Culpepper’s 2005 salary, according to the NFL Players Association’s Web site, would have been $540,000. That’s sure to go up substantially.

“He’s a premier player in this league, and we felt like his contract needed an adjustment to reflect that,” Brzezinski said. “Zygi stepped up, like he’s done with everything else.”

Players were unavailable for comment on Sunday, their first day off since training camp began last week. The Vikings were to resume practice in Mankato, Minn., on Monday morning.

Eagles

Wide receiver Terrell Owens returned to practice with Philadelphia after missing the last two days with inflammation in his left groin.

Owens participated in both the morning and afternoon sessions.

After wearing full pads for the morning practice, players wore shells and shorts during a brief afternoon workout.

The five-time Pro Bowl selection was scheduled to sign autographs with the rest of the wide receivers after the morning practice, but was a no-show. The team said he was receiving treatment.

Beginning the second year of a seven-year deal worth just under $49 million, the disgruntled Owens is still hoping the Eagles will redo his contract.

Owens left practice Thursday morning and did not return for the afternoon session. Coach Andy Reid dismissed any suggestion that the injury might not be genuine, calling it a chronic condition.

Redskins

Wide receiver Taylor Jacobs will be sidelined at least a week with a sprained big left toe.

Jacobs was injured during Washington’s scrimmage against Baltimore on Saturday. An MRI revealed moderate swelling but nothing more serious than a sprain.

A second-round draft pick in 2003, Jacobs is vying for the No. 3 receiver spot behind Santana Moss and David Patten. Jacobs also missed a day of practice last week because of heat-related symptoms.

Panthers

Tight end Freddie Jones retired, ending his eight-year career just four months after signing a free agent contract with Carolina.

Jones had 404 receptions over five seasons in San Diego and three in Arizona. His offensive attributes were not a great fit with the Panthers, who use their tight ends primarily for blocking.

“It was in the best interest of my family that I conclude my career at this time,” Jones said.

“I appreciate the Panthers signing me. It’s a top-notch organization and I’m glad I got a chance to experience it before I retired.”

Cowboys

Dallas signed kicker Jose Cortez after a workout on Saturday and waived injured kicker Brett Visintainer.

Cortez spent the past two seasons with Minnesota, appearing in 10 games and only handling kickoffs.

He hasn’t attempted a field goal since 2002 with Washington.


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