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CULPEPPER SIGNS DEAL WITH RAIDERS

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. The 30-year-old veteran out of UCF met with the Bucs in July.

"We had to see him run around, scramble and do different things because his arm didn't go away," Oakland coach Lane Kiffin said.

Culpepper began 2006 as Miami's starter but 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.

"When I became a free agent I created and ranked eight criteria that I used to evaluate potential teams that were interested in my services," Culpepper said. "Based on my criteria, the Oakland Raiders are the best fit."

RAWLINGS CUTS VICK LOOSE: Michael Vick lost another sponsor: Rawlings. The sports goods company said it was ending its relationship with the Falcons quarterback because of dogfighting conspiracy charges he faces. Rawlings had used Vick's image in promotional displays in stores.

BEARS: Defensive tackle Darwin Walker, acquired Sunday from Buffalo, agreed to a five-year, $25-million deal including about $2-million this season, plus $8-million to $9-million in total bonuses.

49ERS: Pro Bowl running back Frank Gore broke a bone in his right hand Monday during the first padded practice of training camp and might not play in the preseason.

JAGUARS: Center Brad Meester broke his right ankle and will miss at least eight weeks. Meester, who has started 108 games for Jacksonville in seven years, was scheduled to have surgery today.

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