November 02, 2008|By From Sun staff and news services

Report: Lions, Culpepper agree to two-year deal


Veteran quarterback Daunte Culpepper reportedly has agreed to a two-year contract with the Detroit Lions. Team spokesman Bill Keenist said the Lions have no comment on yesterday's report. The report, which didn't cite a source, indicated Culpepper would sign the deal tomorrow. Culpepper, 31, worked out for Detroit on Tuesday, taking a step toward returning to the NFL after announcing plans to retire in September because he was frustrated over not finding work. He was a three-time Pro Bowl player for the Minnesota Vikings, but a knee injury limited his effectiveness with the Miami Dolphins in 2006 and Oakland Raiders in 2007. Culpepper has completed 64 percent of his passes in a nine-year career, with 142 touchdowns. The Lions (0-7) have had their share of quarterback problems this season. Dan Orlovsky, who took over as starter when Jon Kitna was placed on injured reserve, has thrown for three touchdowns in six games.

Packers: : Green Bay released Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila, the franchise sacks leader. The defensive end had been with the team nine seasons and had 74 1/2 sacks in 124 games. ... The Packers activated defensive tackle Justin Harrell from the physically-unable-to-perform list.

Et cetera: : The Browns placed offensive lineman Ryan Tucker (knee) on injured reserve. ... The Broncos promoted quarterback Darrell Hackney from their practice squad to back up starter Jay Cutler. ... Linebacker David Harris, who leads the Jets with 52 tackles, will not play at Buffalo today because of a strained groin.

Sabathia, Gordon file for free agency


CC Sabathia, the prize pitcher on this year's market, filed for free agency. Sabathia was acquired by the Milwaukee Brewers from the Cleveland Indians on July 7, then went 11-2 with seven complete games, three shutouts and a 1.65 ERA in 17 starts to help the Brewers make the playoffs for the first time since 1982. Overall, the left-hander, 28, was 17-10 with a 2.70 ERA. Sabathia's new deal could top Johan Santana's six-year, $137.5 million contract with the New York Mets. Reliever Tom Gordon became the first member of the World Series champion Phillies to file for free agency after Philadelphia declined a $4.5 million option and chose to pay a $1 million buyout. Twenty-three players filed for free agency yesterday, raising the total to 130 in three days since the World Series.

Red Sox: : Boston will keep its spring training home in the Fort Myers area for 30 more years after signing an agreement with Lee County, Fla. The Red Sox have played in the 7,290-seat City of Palms Park since moving from Winter Haven in 1993. The team had a buyout that would have allowed it to leave in 2010, and it talked with Sarasota about moving to the Reds' former home. Instead, the Red Sox and Lee County will work together on a complex that would open in 2012. The signing helps keep Sarasota as an option for the Orioles if they can't work out a deal to stay in Fort Lauderdale.

UConn preseason No. 1; Maryland women third

et cetera

Connecticut is back in familiar territory - No. 1 in the preseason women's basketball poll. This is the first time in five seasons and the sixth time in school history the Huskies have the top preseason ranking by the Associated Press. UConn received 44 of the 45 first-place votes from a national media panel and compiled 1,124 points. No. 2 Stanford was 106 points behind and drew the other first-place ballot. Maryland is third and followed by Oklahoma. Rutgers is fifth.

Auto racing: : Home-crowd favorite Felipe Massa won the pole for the decisive Brazilian Grand Prix in Sao Paulo with a lap of 1 minute, 12.368 seconds, increasing his chances of overtaking Lewis Hamilton for the Formula One title. Massa needs to finish first or second today to have a chance of erasing Hamilton's seven-point lead. ... Kyle Busch overpowered the field in the NASCAR Nationwide Race at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, winning in the second-tier series for a record-tying 10th time this season. Busch matched Sam Ard's season record set in 1983. He held off a charging Carl Edwards in the final laps of the O'Reilly Challenge.

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