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Culpepper and Patriots a poor fit

Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Graham
In the days since the New England Patriots held thanks-but-no-thanks meetings with Chris Simms and Tim Rattay, there's been speculation another free-agent QB signing is afoot.

Daunte Culpepper is out there, and Randy Moss might be lobbying for him to replace Tom Brady.

Culpepper's passes kept Moss happily fed with the Minnesota Vikings, where they became one of the NFL's nastiest combos. Culpepper had an MVP-like year just four seasons ago, his gaudy stats including 4,717 yards, 39 TDs and 110.9 passer rating.

But here is why Culpepper to the Patriots is an absurdly bad idea:

Since Culpepper shredded his right knee in October 2005, he has been sacked 42 times, or once every 7.6 pass attempts. For comparison, the San Francisco 49ers last year gave up a sack every 9.3 attempts, worst in the NFL.

That sounds bad enough, right?

Factor in this nugget turned up by ESPN's research department:

In 2006 and 2007, Brady was hit 86 times while throwing in the regular season, tying him with Carson Palmer for the most shots absorbed.

That's a stunning stat considering the left side of the Patriots' lineup is comprised of Pro Bowlers and they allowed 21 sacks last year, the team's fewest in 30 years. Culpepper was sacked 21 times in his four games with the Miami Dolphins in 2006.

But maybe Brady's willingness to take a hit and still get rid of the ball made everybody look that much better.

An immobile Culpepper doesn't look like a suitable fit.