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Need a QB? Culpepper ready, willing and able to play

Considering all the buzz in Miami recently about Brett Favre, and with coach Tony Sparano saying he couldn't rule out the team looking at an older quarterback, I couldn't help but wonder what Daunte Culpepper is up to. I mean, if you're even considering Favre for a moment, and you gave running back Tiki Barber a look, why not bring in Culpepper for a workout?

What do you have to lose?

Actually, there are more than a few teams that could use a veteran presence or an upgrade at the backup spot or even No. 3 quarterback. If Favre -- as old and beaten up as he is after a controversy-filled 2010 season, and considering the fact he's retired -- is worth mulling over, then I can't see why Culpepper isn't.

Culpepper is younger and healthier than Favre, and coming off a season in the UFL. He's eager to get back to the NFL in any capacity and is anything but retired right now. He's taken himself out of the agent business -- hiring respected Mitch Frankel to handle dealing with NFL teams -- and is serious about a comeback.

Will he get the chance?

Culpepper, who at 34 is a relative youngster compared to some backups, tells me he is "as strong as ever," squatting 500 pounds, running hills and "still throwing the ball 70-plus yards." He says he remains at his playing weight from his time in Minnesota, at 265 pounds.

"I am itching to get into an NFL training camp so that I can practice again," he says.

Frankel has advised Culpepper that it's been slow going thus far with NFL teams. The level of interest, and the presuppositions of some teams regarding Culpepper's health, conditioning and ability to practice have surprised the former Pro Bowl quarterback's representation. But, they continue to reach out to teams and pursue opportunities to try out. No one has asked to see him, yet, and Culpepper said that given his years of experience in the league he is not considering a "pro day" type of workout for scouts. He'd prefer to work out for individual teams.

"I am prepared to come in and conduct a 'pro day' for any NFL team that is interested in seeing what they will get with a healthy, motivated Daunte Culpepper," he said.

Ego and role are not a problem. Culpepper said he is remaining optimistic and keeping all options open.

"Based on my estimate, there will be 96 quarterbacks on active rosters this season," he said. "I have to believe that there will be room for a three-time Pro-Bowl quarterback who is willing to get in where he fits in.

"I am optimistic that somebody will eventually need a game-ready backup like me on their team. Hopefully, I won't have to wait for somebody to get hurt before I am given the opportunity to sign with a team."

The Dolphins and Panthers need a veteran presence. Teams like Baltimore lack a true No. 2 quarterback, or anything close to it at this point. How much Culpepper has to offer, and which role he can fill, remain to be seen. But given the state of quarterbacking in some locations, I can't see why a team or two wouldn't be willing to at least look for themselves.

Follow Jason La Canfora on Twitter @JasonLaCanfora

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