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

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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.

Golf: : Michael Letzig birdied three of the final six holes for a 2-under-par 70 that gave him the lead in the PGA Ginn sur Mer Classic in Palm Coast, Fla. Letzig finished off his run of birdies with a 7-foot putt on the par-5 18th that put him at 7-under 209. He was one shot ahead of Kenneth Ferrie (67), John Huston (70) and Ryan Palmer (72). ... In-Kyung Kim made a 45-foot birdie putt on the final hole for a 3-under 69, taking a one-shot lead after the second round of the LPGA Kolon Championship in Incheon, South Korea. Kim shot a bogey-free round and totaled 5-under 139 heading into today's finale of the 54-hole event. She leads Hee-Won Han of South Korea (69) and Karen Stupples of England (70). ... Heavy rains forced the postponement of the third round of the Champions Charles Schwab Cup Championship in Sonoma, Calif. Play was suspended for more than 3 1/2 hours before officials made the decision to delay the remainder of the tournament until today. Andy Bean is atop the leader board at 10-under 134.

NHL:: Ryan Miller stopped 29 shots for his eighth NHL shutout, Thomas Vanek scored twice and the host Buffalo Sabres beat the Washington Capitals, 5-0. ... Islanders goalie Rick DiPietro underwent a second knee operation Friday to repair a torn meniscus and will be sidelined four to six weeks. DiPietro is in the third season of a landmark 15-year deal. ... Pittsburgh star Sidney Crosby returned and had two assists against St. Louis, two days after he left a game with an undisclosed injury. ... New Jersey goalie Martin Brodeur left the game against Atlanta with a bruised left elbow.

Tennis: : Defending champion David Nalbandian beat Nikolay Davydenko, 6-1, 5-7, 6-4, to set up a Paris Masters final against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga. Tsonga defeated 11th-seeded James Blake, 6-4, 6-3.

Laurel Park: : Beginning Wednesday, first post shifts to 12:35 p.m. for the balance of the year, except for Thanksgiving, when Laurel will present a special 11:05 a.m. post. The final eight weeks of the year will feature nine live races each Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday. The meet concludes Dec. 27.

Varsity: : The top-ranked McDonogh girls soccer team will be without All-Metro senior Gigi Mangione for today's Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland A Conference championship game against No. 3 Archbishop Spalding. Mangione was issued a red card in the final minute of the Eagles' 1-0 semifinal win over Mercy on Thursday for foul and abusive language, which includes an automatic suspension for the next game. McDonogh's appeal to the league was unsuccessful. GLENN GRAHAM


Boxing: : Felix Sturm retained his World Boxing Association middleweight title with a unanimous decision over Sebastian Sylvester in Oberhausen, Germany. ... Vic Darchinyan knocked down Cristian Mijares with a left uppercut in the first round and finally finished him off in with a jolting straight left in the ninth in their super-flyweight title unification fight in Carson, Calif. International Boxing Federation champ Darchinyan dominated the match of 115-pound boxers from start to finish to take away Mijares' World Boxing Council and World Boxing Association crowns.

Figure skating: : Yuko Kawaguchi and Alexander Smirnov of Russia edged Canadians Jessica Dube and Bryce Davison to win the pairs competition at Skate Canada in Ottawa. Canadian Patrick Chan captured the men's title. Ryan Bradley was second and Evan Lysacek third.