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One thing you can count on with the Detroit Lions is that they are never, ever boring. Follow the latest news including injuries, roster moves and more here daily from Oakland Press beat writer Paula Pasche. Plus you'll find regular commentary about the team.


More on Culpepper

The Daunte Culpepper deal is not 100 percent finalized, but there are no major hurdles in its way and the two sides should complete it when they resume talks Sunday, league and Lions sources said. The deal is essentially for two years, though it will be structured as a one-year contract with a team option for next season. Culpepper will make a prorated portion of the league minimum for the final eight weeks this year ($730,000 for players with nine years of service) and somewhere in the $7-million neighborhood next year.

As I said in my previous blog, Culpepper is being brought in both for this and next season. He is expected to compete for the starting job immediately, and could be on the field as soon as next week against Jacksonville (assuming he picks up the system quickly). Dan Orlovsky will be the No. 2 quarterback once Culpepper takes over as starter, and Drew Stanton will be No. 3. Drew Henson will be released once Culpepper signs, but the Lions hope to re-sign him to the practice squad. (He's practice-squad eligible as long as he doesn't play against the Bears.)

Orlovsky, a free-agent-to-be, is unlikely to return next season, though he's proven himself a serviceable backup. In all likelihood, Culpepper, Stanton and Henson will be the Lions quarterbacks next year, with  perhaps a rookie also in the mix. Jon Kitna also is under contract, but he's expected to be traded or released this offseason.

Though I'm on record as saying I would play Orlovsky and Stanton the rest of this year in order to assess their long-term futures, I understand the Culpepper signing on several fronts. First, there are few good veterans slated for free agency next year and rather than try to trade for a jury's-out Derek Anderson, the Lions locked up the player they think gives them the best chance to win. Second, the Lions appear convinced that neither Orlovsky nor Stanton is their quarterback of the future. Stanton, a 2007 second-round draft pick, still could develop, but the organizational belief – as Jim Colletto expressed in no uncertain terms last week – is that he's nowhere near ready now.

If Culpepper, who has not returned e-mails seeking comment, recaptures any of the magic he had in Minnesota pre-knee surgery, the signing will be well worth the Lions' minimal investment. If not, well, they don't feel there's much downside either considering the current makeup of their roster.

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