With quarterbacks going down at alarming rates this season, it was only a matter of time. Today in an email sent to the media, Daunte Culpepper is ready to return to the NFL should the right opportunity come along.
Denver, Kansas City, New England have all been thrown out as possibilities. What about the Bengals? As time goes on, it will be clear that Ryan Fitzpatrick is not even the short-term answer at quarterback...and Carson Palmer will not be returning this season.
If I am Culpepper, I think Cincinnati is a very good spot to jump start his career. Here are some reasons why:
1) Absolutely zero pressure to win.
2) While the Bengals offensive line is suspect, Culpepper is still somewhat mobile and should be able to keep defenses honest with his big arm.
3) Three (allegedly) top flight receivers in Houshmandzadeh, Johnson, and Henry. Plus, with Jerome Simpson getting more playing time, Culpepper will have plenty of options.
4) After playing the second half of the season in Cincinnati...and maybe even leading the team to a few wins...he can get some team to give him a multi-year deal with incentives.
5) The Bengals should be playing from behind, so he'll have plenty of chances to work out that right arm.
Another option at QB to keep in mind is Jon Kitna. Rumor has it that the Lions might release Kitna outright, and his injury should only keep him sidelined for a few more weeks. If that happens, Kitna back in Cincinnati for one more run makes a lot of sense. He knows the system, and he will be a leader out there...if nothing else.