After being a complete bust in Miami, Daunte Culpepper has signed a one-year contract with the Raiders and should serve as the team’s starting QB until JaMarcus Russell gets signed and into playing shape. Culpepper has battled injuries over the past couple of years, but he says that he’s fully recovered from the nasty knee injury that limited his maneuverability during his comeback attempt with the Dolphins. In fact, he was sacked 21 times in his first four outings last season.
But even with a pair of functional legs underneath him, there’s no telling if Culpepper can return to the form that damn near won him the MVP award in 2004. After all, this is the same guy that looked completely lost in Minnesota after Randy Moss left the club. Culpepper was 2-4 in the six games before his season ending injury with six touchdowns, 12 interceptions and five fumbles. And things aren’t going to be much different this year considering that Oakland is deprived of any true receiver talent now that his former favorite target Randy Moss has moved on to a contender in the Patriots.
Obviously, Culpepper is simply a fill-in until Russell finally gets his act together, signs the dotted line and starts putting in some serious film work. Daunte is no dummy and he knows no to get too comfortable in the silver and black, so he’ll be treating this season as a platform to display his health and if he can manage to show that he’s capable of playing at an elite level then he’ll be signing a new offer from a different team next off-season. This short term deal certainly works well for the Raiders since they ended up with an experienced play caller, but we feel confident that they would much rather be gambling with a rookie QB than suffer through yet another rebuilding year with a veteran. After all, Oakland’s future isn’t going to arrive until the top pick in the 2007 NFL Draft starts lining up under center.
[MSNBC.com]: Raiders sign Culpepper to one-year deal