Day in Court

Depth Chart

Game Preview







Culpepper On Board

The Raiders have added Daunte Culpepper to their starting quarterback competition. Culpepper, 30, signed a reported one-year, $3.2 million contract after passing a physical July 31.

The nine-year veteran joins the Raiders after playing seven seasons with the Vikings and one in Miami.

Culpepper (right) is the fourth quarterback — Josh McCown, Andrew Walter and Jeff Otis are the others — currently under contract with Oakland. McCown and Walter have been sharing time with Oakland's starting offense since training camp began July 27.

Culpepper's signing gives the Raiders an alternative plan if top draft pick JaMarcus Russell continues his contract holdout.

During a one-hour news conference Aug. 1, Raiders managing general partner Al Davis said that Russell hasn't signed a contract because the team is unwilling to include an option bonus. The finalized contract is expected to net the former Louisiana State star $30 million guaranteed.

An option bonus reportedly typically kicks in the second season and is prorated over the remaining years of the player's contract. The contract of every top-10 draft pick this year who has signed includes provisions protecting the team regarding bonuses and guaranteed money.

"Our only problem with the Russell contract is they want all the money as an option bonus, and I will not do that," Davis told reporters. "They have to be held accountable on forfeiture.

"The option bonus has to say, be it an option bonus, a regular bonus, or a roster bonus, that if he doesn't show up for training camp on time, we can get some of that money back. They have to be able to be held accountable."

The Dolphins released Culpepper on July 17. He reportedly met with Tampa Bay officials but didn't receive a contract offer from the Bucs.

The three-time Pro Bowler began the 2006 season as the Dolphins' starter. After being sacked 21 times during the season's first four games, he was taken out of the lineup and eventually went on injured reserve. He reportedly reinjured his surgically repaired knee during the season's fourth game.

Speaking to reporters after his first practice with his new team Aug. 1, Culpepper said:

"Any time you're a great competitor and people doubt you, it's absolute fuel to overcome whatever they're saying or shut them up in a sense. I feel like I'm a self-motivated guy. I'm going to expect out of myself more than what anybody can make me or force me to do. My expectations for myself are higher than what anybody could set for me. But doubters, that does give me fuel."

Said Raiders coach Lane Kiffin: "We�re going to give him every chance to compete to, No. 1, make the team and, No. 2, to start," Kiffin said. "How far he takes that, we'll find out."

Culpepper has thrown for 21,091 yards and 137 touchdowns with 89 interceptions during his eight NFL seasons. He set career highs in 2004 when he threw for 4,717 yards and 39 touchdowns. He has a career quarterback rating of 90.8.

"Lane made the final decision, but I wanted it to happen," Davis said. "I like to take chances like that. I don't know what the risk is. I don't see any real risk."

Updated: 8-2-2007


Archives | Court | Home | Links | Schedule | Tickets