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Two teams backed off Culpepper
By wire services
Published March 29, 2006
ORLANDO - Several other teams shopping for quarterbacks deemed Daunte Culpepper an intriguing option before the Dolphins acquired him from Minnesota for a second-round draft pick.
Two, however, decided he was not the ideal option for them.
Tuesday, Titans coach Jeff Fisher and Ravens coach Brian Billick cited Culpepper's serious knee injury as among their concerns when deciding not to make a deal for him.
"That has a lot of do with the level of interest that we had," said Fisher, who watched tape of Culpepper's pre-injury performances. "Put yourself in a situation where you are going to make a deal right now, for a guy who won't be on the field until June at the earliest, it's a hard thing for us. Not necessarily a hard thing for most people, but it's a hard thing to come to terms with for us."
And Tennessee still has veteran Steve McNair.
Baltimore still plans to start fourth-year quarterback Kyle Boller. Billick looked at Culpepper and Drew Brees, among other possibilities, "long and hard."
Billick said he had no question about Culpepper's ability, calling him a special talent.
"He's so physical in the pocket, he can make the big play, he makes things happen, he can extend the play," Billick said. But Billick had the same issue with Culpepper as with Brees, who is recovering from shoulder surgery: health.
"Those two injuries are injuries that you have to factor in and be very conscious of for this year," Billick said.
HARRINGTON LOOKING: Quarterback Joey Harrington flew to Miami and Dolphins coach Nick Saban left the owners' meetings in Orlando to see him. Harrington was scheduled to go from Miami to Cincinnati in search of a new team. Lions president Matt Millen has given permission to at least six teams to talk to Harrington about a potential trade. Harrington is scheduled to receive a $4-million roster bonus June 15 and a $4.45-million salary this year and next. If he doesn't renegotiate to facilitate a trade, the Lions will release him to avoid paying the bonus.
L.A. STORY: Before he retires as commissioner, Paul Tagliabue has said he would like to see the league get closer to placing a team back in Los Angeles. Tagliabue plans to be gone from the league in July - if the owners find a successor by then - but a solution to the L.A. situation doesn't figure to come that soon. Two sites are being considered, in Anaheim and at the current location of the Los Angeles Coliseum, each with cost estimates at $800-million. The subject is being discussed this week at the league meetings, but if any concrete plans are developed they will be addressed at the spring meetings in May.
PANTHERS: The team re-signed punter Jason Baker and brought back cornerback Reggie Howard, who started on the 2003 Super Bowl team.