Sports Outside the Beltway

QB Daunte Culpepper signs with the Oakland Raiders

Former Miami Dolphin QB Daunte Culpepper has found a new home.

NAPA, Calif. – Free agent quarterback Daunte Culpepper signed a one-year contract with Oakland on Tuesday, giving the Raiders a backup plan for top draft pick JaMarcus Russell.

Culpepper, 30, worked out in the afternoon before a gathering of Raiders scouts and coaches in a private workout. Oakland coach Lane Kiffin announced the signing shortly after the team completed practice.

“We had to see him run around, scramble and do different things because his arm didn’t go away,” Kiffin said. “We weren’t really worried about that. We had to make sure everything else was good.”

Culpepper began 2006 as Miami’s starter but had trouble with his mobility and was sacked 21 times in the first four games. The Dolphins shut him down so he could continue rehabbing and eventually placed him on injured reserve. When they acquired Trent Green in a trade with Kansas City this offseason, Culpepper became expendable.


The Dolphins tried unsuccessfully to trade Culpepper a year after acquiring him from Minnesota. When Miami failed to find a team willing to trade for Culpepper, the former Pro Bowl quarterback was released on July 17. Culpepper met with Tampa Bay two days later but did not receive a contract offer from the Bucs.

The Raiders sent a member of their front office to Florida to work out Culpepper on Monday, then sent a private plane to fly the 6-foot-4, 265-pound quarterback to California for the Tuesday workout.

Culpepper said the Raiders “are giving me the opportunity to compete for the starting job,” yet acknowledged that part of his role in Oakland will be helping Russell “get ready to take over for the future,” he said.

From the outset, I thought Miami made a mistake in signing Culpepper. His tenure in Miami was an expensive disaster, and I’m not a fan of his off the field either. All that said, I wish Daunte well in Oakland. Except if he is playing against Miami, which the two teams are scheduled to play, or the team of my youth The New York Jets.

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