The Lions worked out three veteran quarterbacks today - Cleo Lemon, Brooks Bollinger, and Craig Nalland it might not mean anything in the grand scheme of things. Culpepper has looked good in off-season workouts so far and, by all accounts, the organization has been happy with him. There's nothing to indicate that's going to change but, if it does, the Lions can make a move without taking a significant hit on Culpepper's contract.
At the start of free agency in late February, Culpepper's contract called for him to make a roster bonus of $2.5 million at that time and then make an additional $2.5 million in salary during the season. Because the Lions didn't want to pay the bonus at the time, Culpepper agreed to restructure his deal.
Under the restructuring, Culpepper earned a $1 million bonus for weighing less than 275 pounds when the team started its off-season workout program in the middle of March. Culpepper, who had weighed more than 290 pounds last season, reported at just over 260 pounds. Under the new contract, Culpepper also earned an additional $300,000 for participating in at least 80 percent of the off-season workouts. (Details of Culpepper's contract were obtained from a league source.)
Culpepper doesn't earn any more money until he makes the 53-man roster for the first game of the regular season. At that point, Culpepper would make $1.25 million in a roster bonus and then his 2009 salary of $2.5 million could kick in. (Culpepper can also earn an additional $500,000 in performance incentives.)
The Lions restructured the deal that one way for one reason - to give them an "out'' if they didn't want Culpepper on the roster for the start of the regular season - and also to protect against a training camp injury.