Culpepper, Lions agree to two-year deal to put him at the helm

Updated: November 2, 2008, 5:52 PM ET
By John Clayton | ESPN.com

Less than two weeks after announcing that he's coming out of retirement, quarterback Daunte Culpepper has a new home.

Culpepper agreed Saturday to a two-year deal with the Detroit Lions. Terms of the deal, scheduled to be signed on Monday, are unknown.

Culpepper canceled a scheduled trip to Kansas City to instead visit the Lions earlier in the week.

Coach Rod Marinelli made the announcement after his team's 27-23 loss to the Chicago Bears on Sunday. He would not answer questions but did say the deal hinges on the results of a pending non-orthopedic physical.

Culpepper left the Lions on Tuesday without a deal but kept in touch, trying to find a home for this season and next season. After several days of negotiations, Culpepper agreed that Detroit was the best fit for him.

In September, Culpepper announced his retirement after being offered only one-year deals. Culpepper felt ignored despite his belief in his skills, and when he couldn't find a long-term home he announced his retirement at the age of 31.

Dan Orlovsky started the past four games, with Jon Kitna out for the rest of the season with a back injury, and Marinelli would not say who will start against Jacksonville next week.

"Like I told you, every week we will wait until Sunday," Marinelli said. "That's being consistent."

Orlovsky said his approach won't change either way.

"I will just continue to prepare like I am the starting quarterback," he said.

Besides the uncertainty over who will start, Culpepper's signing could leave third-string quarterback Drew Henson without a job.

"I heard yesterday they signed him and there was talks floating around that they were going to bring him in and it's just a matter of time so it's not surprising by any means," Henson said. "I guess we will find out more tomorrow and hopefully have a better understanding what's going on not only next week but hopefully for the rest of the season and my future here in Detroit."

In agreeing to a deal with Culpepper, the Lions have a quarterback to help finish this season and take them into next season. Culpepper, a former Vikings starter, has great knowledge of the NFC North.

Senior writer John Clayton covers the NFL for ESPN.com. Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

John Clayton

NFL senior writer

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