Less than three years ago, Daunte Culpepper
set the all-time quarterback record for yards from scrimmage in a season. Now he's hoping to beat out Josh McCown
and Andrew Walter
for a roster spot. In a move that Al Davis has probably wanted to make for years, Culpepper signed a one-year deal with the Raiders Tuesday. Nothing should be assumed about his return to an NFL roster.
Best-case scenario, his knee will prove healthy and he'll stick as a serviceable starter for most of the season. But he could also sit the whole season without taking a snap, and he could be released before September. Miracles can't be expected after signing so late.
The move says more about Oakland's confidence in McCown and Walter than Culpepper, whose workout private reportedly was spotty. McCown has failed in his other NFL spots and his arm reportedly isn't "Raider quality." The new coaching staff clearly doesn't think Walter is the answer.
The 260-pound quarterback in the room is JaMarcus Russell
. His holdout, like Brady Quinn
's, could cause serious damage to his rookie season. We pegged him to take over in Oakland before midseason, but Culpepper provides the Raiders with another option.
The real losers here are the Raiders actually worth drafting in fantasy leagues: Ronald Curry
, Jerry Porter
, and LaMont Jordan
. All three players are buy-low candidates if new coach Lane Kiffin can make the Oakland offense respectable. Spotty quarterback play stands in their way, and now Culpepper can try to do something about it.
While Kiffin wonders if Culpepper can also be a backup on the offensive line, here are some other notes from around training camp.
* Frank Gore
is already participating in some non-contact drills after breaking a bone in his hand earlier this week. He will miss the first three preseason games, but coach Mike Nolan hopes to get him back on the field for the exhibition finale. As I wrote about in the blog
, Rotoworld isn't adjusting our optimistic projection. The most talented runner in the NFC was already performing light non-contact drills at practice Tuesday.
Gore will probably be back at practice fully next Monday after a cast is put on, so it's not like he will get out of shape. Pounce on Gore if the injury causes his stock to fall.
* One surgery that should affect your cheat sheets is Terry Glenn
's. He'll undergo arthroscopic surgery on his knee Wednesday. While he should be healthy before Week 1, surgery begets more surgery, and Glenn has stayed unusually healthy the last two years. He had missed ten games or more in two of the four seasons prior. The ultimate BPG (Bill Parcells Guy), Glenn's decline his overdue and his patron Saint is watching horses in Saratoga.
* Clinton Portis
continues to struggle with knee tendinitis. This could be a case of a veteran wanting to take it easy in camp or it could be a problem that lingers all season. It looks like he'll sit out the rest of the week
of practice. A timeshare in Washington with Ladell Betts
grows much more possible if Portis can't get fully healthy shortly. Rotoworld was open to moving Portis up to a first-round grade with a strong camp, but he's off to a bad start. Out of ActionChester Taylor
was carted off the field with an arm injury Tuesday, but the Vikings are only calling it a contusion. It appears he dodged a bullet … The news got worse for Vernand Morency
and his owners this week. He's now expected to miss "at least" two more weeks because of his knee injury. If the injury sidelines him longer than that, he's probably going to back up Brandon Jackson
… Willie Parker missed his second straight practice Wednesday and was seen icing his knee. We'll let you know if it's more than usual camp soreness ... Jaguars starting C Brad Meester
will miss the next two months, which puts a dent in one of the best offensive lines in the league … Chris Simms
and the Bucs have denied reports about the severity of his arm injury, but he remains limited in Bucs camp.
Projected Patriots nickel back Chad Scott
will miss the season, increasing the team's need to get Asante Samuel
signed … Chargers wideout Eric Parker
continues to struggle with a toe injury. His absence could open up time for rookie Craig Davis
… Detroit's second round pick QB Drew Stanton
underwent knee surgery, crushing any chance he had to win the Detroit backup job … Kevin Walter
remains the starting wideout opposite Andre Johnson
despite Keenan McCardell
's signing. Returning to Action
is back at Packers practice making spectacular catches, easing any concern about his shoulder ... Mike Williams
is practicing with the Raiders again, but the team says he weighs too much. We've heard this one before. Don't be surprised if he's cut before the year … After an offseason of injuries, Saints rookie wideout Robert Meachem
has stayed on the field this month. Two Minute Drill
Vikings reserve Mewelde Moore
appears to be ahead of Ciatrick Fason
in the battle for a roster spot … Perhaps it's all an act, but Cleo Lemon
has actually been sharing first-team snaps with Trent Green
some days … The Derek Anderson
duel has been locked in an uninspiring tie. The Browns would like to decide sooner than later. Tim Carter
appears to have the third receiver spot locked up in Cleveland over Travis Wilson
. Romeo Crennel implied that Braylon Edwards
' starting job wasn't necessarily safe, but that seems like empty motivational talk … Former fullback Cecil Sapp
continues to run ahead of Mike Bell
at Broncos camp. Bell needs a push to keep his stud-handcuff status … The Steelers want to use Willie Parker
on third downs more often this season, which would help his fantasy value greatly. Holdout Update
The Magnificent Seven remain: JaMarcus Russell
, Brady Quinn
, Calvin Johnson
, Darrelle Revis
, Levi Brown
, Dwayne Bowe
, and Jon Beason
. Brown appears the closest to signing. Bowe might be waiting for Quinn to sign, which means he could be waiting a while. FlashingThis isn't an update of training camp streakers. It's a record of the players that are impressing with standout play in camp. A coach or writer will often say a player "flashed", but we don't post it always because it changes from day to day. We'll try to compile some of the consistent risers in the Wednesday Camp Dose each weekMarty Booker
just won't go away. His veteran professionalism and quality hands have stood out over Ted Ginn and Derek Hagan
in Dolphins camp … Heath Evans
has impressed in Patriots camp and could have a significant role if Laurence Maroney
is ever hurt … Jabar Gaffney
could be passing Reche Caldwell
on the Patriots depth chart with a strong camp. Donte' Stallworth needs to get on the field … Before he became an internet legend
, Kyle Orton
was once a promising quarterback prospect. A strong camp is putting heat on Brian Griese
… Packers rookie wideout James Jones
is pushing hard for the third receiver role with a consistent camp. He could challenge Greg Jennings
eventually for a starting job if he keeps it up … Kellen Winslow
is reportedly putting concerns about his knee surgery behind him with a standout camp. Not FlashingBrian Griese
has thrown an interception every single day of camp. He's probably closer to Orton than Rex Grossman
right now … Derek Hagan
has been inconsistent in Dolphins camp and may get stuck as their fourth receiver … Kellen Clemens
, the Jets "quarterback of the future" has received consistently poor marks for slow development.
And finally … The Worst Person in Fantasy FootballAgent Tom Condon and JaMarcus Russell's mom
today will share the award. Condon and Brady Quinn
want to be paid a huge premium at the No. 22 pick because he's a quarterback despite the informal slotting system the NFL holds. Russell's mom is reportedly leading the hard bargaining team representing the number one pick. Like Philip Rivers
a few years ago, the players may get more money, but less playing time.